Netflix recently announced a plethora of new animated projects that are currently in development. As a subscription-based streaming platform, Netflix has the ability to branch out and back ideas that wouldn’t otherwise be commercially viable. The animation styles vary from hand-drawn, to stop-motion, and CG and tell stories from a range of diverse cultures. Here are some of the projects that stood out to me, developed by creators you might recognize.
Maya and the Three
Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life, El Tigre) makes his return to animated television with an adventure about a warrior princess who must recruit three legendary fighters to save the world of gods and men. Because this is a Gutierrez project fans can expect his signature Mexopolis art blended into a cocktail of videogame action and comic book adventure.
Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) made an impression on many childhoods with his talent for character design and unique humor. With Kid Cosmic, viewers will follow the journey of a superhero-obsessed young boy who gains powers from cosmic stones. However, being a hero is much harder than the boy thought.
Over The Moon
Animation legend Glean Keane (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) returns to feature films with an all new CG musical adventure. In Over The Moon, a girl builds a rocket ship to prove the existence of the legendary Moon Goddess. When she lands on the moon the girl discovers a world of fantastic and dangerous creatures.
Guillermo del Toro’s first animated feature tells the classic story of Pinocchio but set against the backdrop of fascist Italy. The film will be a stop-motion musical with puppets based on character designs by Gris Grimly and build by Corpse Bride’s Mackinnon and Saunders. Audiences can expect a dark and poignant Pinocchio story from Del Toro.
Wendell & Wild
From Director Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) and featuring the voice talent of Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key, comes a stop-motion feature about two demon brothers who escape from the underworld. However, while in the human world the demon duo must tangle with a demon- slaying teenager named Kat.
In SPA Studio’s Klaus, a young postman is assigned to a remote Scandinavian town and builds an unlikely friendship with a reclusive toymaker which leads to the origin story of Santa Claus. What stands out in this film is the combination between classical hand-drawn animation and volumetric lighting from CG animation. It’s good to see 2D animation back and looking better than ever.