‘Among the six new animated programs that Netflix announced, they revealed an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s ‘The Willoughbys’. “The Willoughbys” is already in production and boasts a voice cast that includes Ricky Gervais, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Martin Short, Alessia Cara, and Jane Krakowski. “My Father’s Dragon,” has a script from “Inside Out’s” Meg LeFauve.
The announcements continue Netflix’s big push into original animated programming, a move it is making as Disney prepares to launch its own streaming service in 2019. Netflix is applying a creator-driven approach to its slate and has asked the creative community for its best ideas. Melissa Cobb, a former Dreamworks Animation executive, has been overseeing the effort since she was hired to run the kids and family team in 2017.
“We’re trying to take the Netflix philosophy of empowering creators and bring that into the animation space,” said Cobb. “We’re not focused on creating a singular brand identity. We want to produce a broad range of content that appeals to kids and families all over the world.”
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.’
The other titles announced include a film “My Father’s Dragon,” a 2D animated family feature film from Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey (“The Secret of Kells”). On the television front, Netflix has greenlit three shows. The streaming service has enlisted “The Powerpuff Girls” creator Craig McCracken to do a new series about a young boy who is transformed into a super-powered hero after he encounters some cosmic stones. “Trash Truck,” the story of a 6-year old boy’s friendship with a trash truck, and “Go! Go! Cory Carson,” a show based on the hit Go! Go! Smart Wheels toyline. Jorge Gutierrez (“Book of Life”) entitled “Maya and the Three.” Gutierrez says that the series boasts a female hero, who is half human and half divine, and said the project will draw heavily on Mesoamerican legends.
The studio has already announced several ambitious projects. They include Guillermo del Toro’s stop motion “Pinocchio,” as well as “Over the Moon,” an animated fantasy film from “The Little Mermaid” director Glen Keane. On Monday, Variety broke the news that Netflix will produce “Jacob and the Sea Beast,” a fantasy adventure from Chris Williams, the co-director of the Disney films “Moana,” “Big Hero 6,” and “Bolt.”’