Following the Academy Award win for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, and its acquisition of Animal Logic, Netflix has just revealed details of nine upcoming animated films to be released on the streaming platform over the next 18 months. First up is the summer 2023 release of Nimona, based on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power creator ND Stevenson’s much-loved graphic novel.
Not only does the film have a powerful theme of acceptance, and include an LGBTQ+ storyline and characters, but it also boasts a voice cast that features LGBTQ+ stars Eugene Lee Yang, RuPaul Charles, Indya Moore, and Julio Torres. These nine upcoming titles join Netflix’s growing portfolio of animated films, which has garnered seven Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature, the most of any individual animation studio since its inception in 2018. Below, we take a first look at what’s to come.
NIMONA – Coming Summer 2023
This summer, Netflix will release the highly anticipated Nimona, based on the bestselling graphic novel by ND Stevenson. Nimona follows Ballister Boldheart, a knight framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and the titular shapeshifter who sets out to help him prove his innocence. Joining the previously announced cast members Chloë Grace Moretz (Nimona), Riz Ahmed (Ballister Boldheart) and Eugene Lee Yang (Ambrosius Goldenloin) are supporting cast Frances Conroy, Lorraine Toussaint, Beck Bennett, RuPaul Charles, Indya Moore, Julio Torres and Sarah Sherman. Nimona is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.
Credits: Directed by Nick Bruno & Troy Quane. Produced by Karen Ryan, p.g.a; Julie Zackary, p.g.a.; Roy Lee. Screenplay by Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor. Story by Robert L. Baird, Lloyd Taylor, Pamela Ribon, Marc Haimes, Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, Keith Bunin. Based Upon the Graphic Novel by ND Stevenson. Executive Producers: Megan Ellison, Robert L. Baird, Andrew Millstein, John Powers Middleton. Production Company: Annapurna Animation
THE MONKEY KING – Coming Summer 2023
Synopsis: The Monkey King is an action-packed family comedy that follows a charismatic Monkey and his magical fighting Stick on an epic quest for victory over 100 demons, an eccentric Dragon King, and Monkey’s greatest foe of all —his own ego! Along the way, a young village girl challenges his self-centered attitude and shows him that even the smallest pebble can have a big effect on the world.
Credits: Director: Anthony Stacchi (The Boxtrolls). Producer: Peilin Chou. Executive Producer: Stephen Chow. Cast: Jimmy O. Yang, Bowen Yang, Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, Jo Koy, Ron Yuan, Hoon Lee, Stephanie Hsu, Andrew Pang, Andrew Kishino, Jodi Long, James Sie and BD Wong.
LEO – Coming Fall 2023
Synopsis: Actor and comedian Adam Sandler (Hotel Transylvania, The Wedding Singer) delivers signature laughs in this coming-of-age animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school – as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo (Sandler) has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle (Bill Burr). When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students — including an impossibly mean substitute teacher. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever…
Credits: Directors: Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, David Wachtenheim. Produced by: Happy Madison. Cast: Adam Sandler, Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Rob Schneider, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Heidi Gardner, Nick Swardson, Nicholas Turturro, Robert Smigel, Jo Koy, Stephanie Hsu.
CHICKEN RUN: DAWN OF THE NUGGET – Coming Fall 2023
Synopsis: From the multi Academy and BAFTA award-winning Aardman (Creature Comforts, Wallace & Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep), and Academy Award and BAFTA-nominated director Sam Fell (ParaNorman and Flushed Away, respectively), comes Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the beloved and highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, Chicken Run. Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream — a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk — this time, they’re breaking in!
Credits: Director: Sam Fell. Story by: Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’ Farrell. From a screenplay by: Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’ Farrell and Rachel Tunnard. Producers: Steve Pegram, Leyla Hobart. Executive Producers: Peter Lord, Nick Park, Carla Shelley, Paul Kewley, Karey Kirkpatrick. Cast: Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, David Bradley, Jane Horrocks, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, and Nick Mohammed.
IN YOUR DREAMS – Coming in 2024
Synopsis: A perfect family? Siblings who get along? Yeah… in your dreams. This is a comedy adventure about Stevie and her brother Elliot who magically travel into the world of dreams with the mission of finding The Sandman who will grant them their ultimate wish — saving their parents’ marriage. The kids are total opposites, making them an unlikely duo to navigate the absurdity of their own subconscious. Along their journey, they discover that as long as they have each other, they can face anything, even their worst nightmare.
Credits: Director: Alex Woo. Co-Director: Erik Benson. Producers: Gregg Taylor, Tim Hahn.
SAVING BIKINI BOTTOM: THE SANDY CHEEKS MOVIE – Coming in 2024
Synopsis: When Bikini Bottom and all its denizens are suddenly scooped out of the ocean, Sandy Cheeks and SpongeBob SquarePants journey to Texas to save the town from a villainous plot.
Credits: Director: Liza Johnson (The Last of Us, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dead to Me). Teleplay by: Kaz and Tom Stern. Story by: Kaz. Based on the Series SpongeBob SquarePants Created by Stephen Hillenburg. Executive Producers: Marc Ceccarelli, Vincent Waller. Animation Supervisor: Piero Piluso. Music by: Moniker. Music Supervisor: Karyn Rachtman. Cast: Carolyn Lawrence, Tom Kenny, Wanda Sykes, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Mr. Lawrence, Rodger Bumpass, Johnny Knoxville, Craig Robinson, Grey DeLisle, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, and Matty Cardarople.
THAT CHRISTMAS – Coming in 2024
Synopsis: Based on the successful series of children’s books by BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Yesterday), Locksmith Animation’s heartwarming film marks the feature film directorial debut of renowned character animation and story artist veteran Simon Otto (Love, Death & Robots, How to Train Your Dragon trilogy). That Christmas follows a series of entwined tales about love and loneliness, family and friends, and Santa Claus making a big mistake, not to mention an enormous number of turkeys! Nicole P. Hearon (Moana, Frozen) and Adam Tandy (The Thick of It, Detectorists) are producers.
Credits: Director: Simon Otto. Producer: Nicole P. Hearon, Adam Tandy. Writer: Richard Curtis.
THELMA THE UNICORN – Coming in 2024
Synopsis: Thelma is a small-time pony who dreams of becoming a glamourous music star. In a pink and glitter-filled moment of fate, Thelma is transformed into a unicorn and instantly rises to global stardom. But this new life of fame comes at a cost. Thelma the Unicorn is a hilarious, quirky and heartfelt ride from directors Lynn Wang (Unikitty!) and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite).
Credits: Directors: Jared Hess, Lynn Wang. Producer: Pam Coats.
ULTRAMAN – Coming in 2024.
Synopsis: Based on the beloved Japanese character, Netflix’s Ultraman follows baseball superstar Ken Sato as he returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman. He soon finds more than he bargained for when he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe. Ken must go on a heroic journey, balancing parenthood, his estranged father, and the relentless Kaiju Defense Force to rise beyond his ego and discover what it truly means to be Ultraman.
Credits: Director: Shannon Tindle (Lost Ollie). Co-Director: John Aoshima. Written by: Shannon Tindle, Marc Haimes. Produced by: Tom Knott, Lisa Poole. Production Company: Tsuburaya Productions, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM).