Image Source: Featured Animation
Variety has revealed that 30 workers at Netflix Animation have been let go.
The announcement follows recent changes to the senior team at Netflix, which earlier this year named Traci Balthazor as vice president of animated film production and Karen Toliver as vice president of animated film content.
Due to Balthazor’s continued tight collaboration with Toliver, Netflix centralized the management of its animated feature production team, resulting in the layoffs.
Netflix Animation, which has had seven Oscar nominations since 2020 does not indicate a slowdown in production as a result of the downsizing.
“Robin,” “Klaus,” “Over the Moon, Back to the Outback,” and Chris Williams’ “The Sea Beast” are among the animated films and shorts available on the streamer. “Wendell & Wild” by Henry Selick and Jordan Peele, “My Father’s Dragon” by Nora Twomey, “Pinocchio” by Guillermo del Toro, “The Magician’s Elephant” by Wendy Rogers, and a “Chicken Run” sequel are upcoming movies. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” “Vivo,” and “Wish Dragon,” all produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, were also purchased by Netflix.
In a cash-only transaction, Netflix purchased Australian animation studio Animal Logic in July. Netflix stated in its Q2 letter to shareholders that the studio and its 800 employees, most of whom are situated in Sydney and Vancouver, “will help us expedite the development of our animation production capabilities and reinforces our goal to construct a world-class animation studio.”
Animal Logic’s purchase price was not made public by the corporation; however, cash on hand would be used to pay for it. Subject to certain regulatory approvals, Netflix anticipates closing later this year.
Toliver received a promotion in July and is now in charge of the film animation department, reporting to Scott Stuber, the head of global film. As a result, Bruce Daitch left Netflix’s production department, and Melissa Cobb and Gregg Taylor switched to being creative producing partners and eliminated layers from the leadership structure. In July, Netflix also bought the Australian animation studio Animal Logic to boost its original animated picture slate.
Henry Selick’s newest animated film, “Wendell & Wild” (shown above), had its world premiere on Netflix at the Toronto International Film Festival. In addition, “My Father’s Dragon” by Nora Twomey, “Pinocchio” by Guillermo del Toro, “The Magician’s Elephant” by Wendy Rogers, and “Chicken Run 2” by Aardman are all upcoming on the streaming service.
The thriving Animated Video Game Adaptations on Netflix Animation
The creation of animated TV series based on video games is nothing new. It’s a pattern that dates back to 1989, when Dragon Quest, King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons, The Legend of Zelda, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show debuted! Netflix’s animation division has made the quiet continuation of this frequently ignored subgenre over the past few years, and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ debut this week is just the latest example. In a time when animation doesn’t feel as consistent as it once did and video game adaptations are still frequently the subject of scowls, Netflix has quietly accomplished the incredible and turned these adaptations into must-watch TV.
Castlevania marked the beginning. The series, which Frederator Studios created, was actually Netflix’s second video game adaptation to be promoted as an original after the Skylander’s Academy-centered Spyro series. It was, however, the first of its extremely niche kind to receive critical acclaim. Castlevania received an average rating of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes under the direction of Adi Shankar, a devoted fan of the series. This is an impressive score in and of itself, but it becomes even more so when you consider how frequently animation and video game adaptations are disregarded.
When asked what criteria Netflix uses to decide whether to produce or release a video game adaptation, John Derderian, Head of Animated Series at Netflix, responded, “a story with a lot of great characters, a great journey, and a lot of heart