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Trailers of the Week: ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ and Other Toons

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

With “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” hitting theaters this weekend, studios are eager to place teasers for their coming animated movies in front of potential audiences. This week there are four — including one that was affected by the #MeToo movement — plus a largely computerized version of a classic toon.

The sequel’s first promotional clip focuses on a visit to the vet for Max, the terrier voiced by Louis C.K. in the original 2016 film. The comic was dropped from the sequel shortly after admitting to multiple acts of sexual misconduct last year. He’s been replaced by Patton Oswalt, a fellow stand-up as well as a master voice-over artist (“Ratatouille,” “The Goldbergs”). Another new star in the trailer is the very busy Tiffany Haddish (“Night School,”“Nobody’s Fool”) as a Shih Tzu; other cast additions yet to be heard include Nick Kroll as a llama and Harrison Ford as a greyhound.

“Lord of the Rings” and “Planet of the Apes” veteran Andy Serkis brings his expertise in motion-capture animation to his dual role as the director and co-star of this latest adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s work. As the trailer makes clear, this isn’t a Disney-style, kid-friendly take on the story but a darker version — hence the PG-13 rating. In addition to Mr. Serkis as Baloo the bear, the impressive vocal ensemble features Cate Blanchett as Kaa the python, Christian Bale as Bagheera the panther and the new Grinch himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, as Shere Khan the tiger.

The initial trailer for this evolutionary buddy comedy positions it somewhere between Laika Studios’ arty fable “Kubo and the Two Strings” and more lowbrow fare like the caveman shtick-fest “The Croods.” Zach Galifianakis voices the title creature, with Hugh Jackman as Sir Lionel Frost, an explorer who takes him on a quest to Shangri-La. Maybe I’m missing the link, but why is this clip scored to Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”?

Think “Trolls” with less hair. The Island of Misfit Toys has nothing on Uglyville, the setting for this musical spotlighting Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monáe and more. The teaser’s narrator describes the island as “a magical place where weird is celebrated, strange is special, and beauty is more than meets the eye.” In the case of UglyDog (voiced by the rapper Pitbull), the singular “eye” is intentional.

Will Smith’s three “Men in Black” movies have grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide, and now he’s playing a different kind of secret agent: the 007-esque Lance Sterling. The trailer leans heavily on action scenes until there’s a comic twist: The operative is turned into a pigeon by a gadgets expert (Tom Holland, of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”). This is the latest offering from the “Ice Age” studio Blue Sky.

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