Netflix’s Upcoming Animated Projects
A chronological list of every animated Netflix Original announced this month.
Netflix have distributed a lot of fantastic animated series from Bojack Horseman to She-Ra and the Princesses of Power by way of Castlevania, and seem to stepping up their efforts, signing on projects from acclaimed directors like Guillermo del Toro, Nora Twomey and Henry Selick. There’s been so many this month it can be overwhelming to keep track of all of them, so here’s a handy chronological listing, compiled from Netflix’s press releases.
KLAUS (Holiday 2019) is a 2D animated family feature film from writer/director Sergio Pablos, co-creator of Despicable Me. When a selfish young postman is assigned to a remote Scandinavian town, his unlikely friendship with a reclusive toymaker leads to the origin story of Santa Claus. This timeless story is visualised through a unique combination of classical hand drawn animation and cutting edge digital technology. The world features volumetric lighting and texturing typically seen in CG animated films. Voice actors include Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, JK Simmons and Joan Cusack. Written by Pablos, Zach Lewis and Jim Mahoney, the screenplay is based on an original story by Pablos. Matthew Teevan, Gustavo Ferrada and Marisa Roman are producers, and Jinko Gotoh (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, The Little Prince) is executive producer. Sergio Pablos’ SPA Studios is producing the film in Madrid, Spain, with Atresmedia Cine, with Toon Boom as a technological partner.
THE WILLOUGHBYS (2020) is a highly stylized CG animated feature film currently in production with BRON Animation in Vancouver from writer/director Kris Pearn (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2). When the four Willoughby children are abandoned by their selfish parents, they must learn how to adapt their old-fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create a new and modern family. Based on the book by Newbery Award-winning author, Lois Lowry. Starring Ricky Gervais, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara and Jane Krakowski.
OVER THE MOON (2020) is a CG musical adventure about a girl who builds a rocket ship to travel to the moon in order to prove to her father that a legendary Moon Goddess really exists. When she gets to the “other side” she unexpectedly discovers a whimsical world filled with fantastical creatures — some of whom threaten her and others who ultimately help her find her way home. Directed by Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast), written by Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun, George of the Jungle), produced by Gennie Rim (Dear Basketball), and executive produced by Janet Yang (Joy Luck Club). Songs written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, and Helen Park. Co-production with Pearl Studio.
PINOCCHIO (2021) is the animated feature film directorial debut of Academy Award winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Pinocchio is his lifelong passion project, which he will also write and produce as a stop motion musical. Del Toro has set his retelling of the classic tale of Pinocchio in Italy during the 1930s. Pinocchio is a production of Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), and ShadowMachine (Bojack Horseman), which will house the stop-motion animation production.
Alongside del Toro, Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce. Blanca Lista will co-produce. Also alongside del Toro, Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) will co-write the script, Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct, and Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer, taking inspiration from Gris Grimly’s original design for the Pinocchio character. The film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride).
MY FATHER’S DRAGON (2021) is a 2D animated family feature film from director Nora Twomey (The Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner) and written by Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur), with story by Meg LeFauve and John Morgan, who are also executive producers. Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures are producing together with Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner) and Tomm Moore. Based on the Newbery Honored children’s novels by Ruth Stiles Gannett, My Father’s Dragon tells the story of young run-away Elmer Elevator, who searches for a captive Dragon on Wild Island and finds much more than he could ever have anticipated. Alan Moloney and Ruth Coady of Parallel Films will also serve as executive producers alongside Gerry Shirren.
WENDELL & WILD (2021) is an animated feature film from writer/director Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) and writer Jordan Peele (Key & Peele, Get Out) with Monkeypaw Productions. Two demon brothers (voiced by Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele) escape the Underworld and find themselves in a town where they must evade a demon-duster teenager, Kat, who is trying to destroy them. Peele is also producing through his Monkeypaw company along with Selick and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein from the Gotham Group. Sarah Serata will co-produce. Executive producers are Win Rosenfeld for Monkeypaw, Peter Principato and Joel Zadak for Principato-Young, Lindsay Williams and Eddie Gamarra for The Gotham Group. Argentinian artist Pablo Lobato will design the characters.
JACOB AND THE SEA BEAST (2022) is a CG animated feature film written and directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero 6, Bolt). Jacob and the Sea Beast tells the epic story of a charming seafarer who sails into uncharted waters and discovers an unlikely ally in a sea monster.
The following do not have specified release years:
- Altered Carbon. This anime feature, set in the same universe of the Netflix live-action sci-fi series (second season in production from Skydance Television), will explore new elements of the story mythology. Writer: Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) and Tsukasa Kondo. Animation Studio: Anima.
- Yasuke. In a war-torn feudal Japan of mechs and magic, a retired ronin must take up his sword when he is charged with the task of transporting a mysterious child who dark forces want to eliminate. Created & Directed by LeSean Thomas (The Boondocks, Cannon Busters), who is also serving as Executive Producer. Grammy nominee Flying Lotus will compose the music and be an Executive Producer on the show. Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry to Bother You) will be the voice of the protagonist “Yasuke” (based on the historical samurai of African origin who fought with Oda Nobunaga). Animation Studio: MAPPA (Yuri On Ice, Kakegurui).
MIGHTY LITTLE BHEEM (2019) is an animated preschool series in production in India from Director Rajiv Chilaka (Chhota Bheem). Mighty Little Bheem will be the first preschool series of the popular Bheem franchise. It is a non-verbal slapstick adventure comedy in which its ultra-strong, brave and intelligent hero, Mighty Little Bheem travels through his hometown on crazy adventures, often in search of ladoos (his favorite treat).
GO! GO! CORY CARSON (2019) is an animated preschool series from Kuku Studios in Berkeley, CA executive produced by Alex Woo (Wall•e, Ratatouille), Stanley Moore (Finding Dory, Monster’s University) and Tone Thyne (Wonder Pets!, The Adventures of Napkin Man!). Based on the hit toy line Go! Go! Smart Wheels from VTech Electronics, Go! Go! Cory Carson follows the adventures of kid car Cory Carson as he navigates the winding roads of childhood in Bumperton Hills.
KID COSMIC (2020) is an animated series in production from Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends). This is a show about a young boy who dreams of becoming a hero, and when he stumbles across some cosmic stones of power his dreams appear to have come true! Unfortunately the reality of being a hero vs. the fantasy of being a hero are completely different and this challenge becomes the biggest battle he has to face. The Kid may be the good guy, but he’s really bad at it!
TRASH TRUCK (2020) is an animated series in production from Max Keane (Dear Basketball). Hank is a free-range, dirt-covered 6 year old boy with a big imagination and an even bigger best pal… a giant honking, snorting trash truck. From learning to fly to going to the dentist, there is no adventure too big or too small for these two best friends. Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) and Gennie Rim (Dear Basketball) serve as executive producers alongside Max Keane.
MAYA AND THE THREE (2021) is an animated limited series created, written, and directed by Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life, El Tigre). Set in a mythical Mesoamerican inspired world, a warrior princess embarks on a quest to recruit three legendary fighters to help save the world of men and gods. Silvia Olivas (Elena of Avalor) is co-writer and co-executive producer, and Jeff Ranjo (Moana) is head of story.
The following do not have estimated year of release dates:
- Pacific Rim. Returning to the epic battle of Kaiju and Jaegers, this original anime series will expand upon the story of the first two live action movies and follow two siblings — an idealistic teenage boy and his naïve younger sister — who are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger across a hostile landscape in a desperate attempt to find their missing parents. Co-showrunners: Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok) and Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution). Production Company: Legendary Entertainment (Kong: Skull Island; Pokemon: Detective Pikachu).
- Cagaster of an Insect Cage. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious disease “Cagaster” turns people into giant murderous insects, this manga-based series follows the struggle of a young couple to stay alive. Directed By Koichi Chigira (Last Exile, Full Metal Panic!). Animation Studio: Gonzo (Hellsing, Afro Samurai).
- Trese. Set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings. This anime series is based on the Philippine graphic novel by the same name, created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo. Executive Producer: Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Korra). Produced By: Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson at BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore.