Netflix is investing heavily in Animation & VFX, gearing up to meet the global demand for quality content.
With migration on pause due to the ongoing pandemic, there are limited 3D animation skills that are accessible among production studios, but that hasn’t stopped the streaming giant from making continuous waves to boost the industry.
Setting itself apart from any other major studio, Netflix has planned to release six original animated features every year. According to co-CEO Ted Sarandos, the move will be in addition to “the very healthy slate of animated series” that is also set in place.
As Netflix opts to develop much of their animation production overseas—a pivot from the traditional in-house production system in the U.S—audiences can expect an onslaught of new feature films that offer more diversity, whether in voice, tone, or target audience.
The company has been producing animated features over the past three years, and the announced titles bring an exciting offering; Apollo 10 ½: A Space Adventure (Richard Linklater), Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro), My Father’s Dragon (Nora Twomey) and Wendell and Wild (Henry Selick). The yet-to-be-announced lineup will also feature an array of new talent, including more titles directed by women and up-and-coming creators.
Animated series Inside Job on Netflix.
Under a banner called Adult Animation, Netflix released three titles, each of which are motioned to “expand [the] slate and push the boundaries of what’s possible in adult animation,” Netflix said in a statement.
Produced by Nexus Studios, dark comedy The House is an independent stop motion animation directed by Emma de Swaef and Marc Roels, Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Paloma Baeza. Claudie Blakley, Matthew Goode, Mia Goth, Dizzee Rascal and Helena Bonham-Carter are just some of the voices that will be featured.
Big Mouth spinoff Human Resources will star Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph and David Thewlis, putting the spotlight on the creatures that boosted the original show to popularity.
Meanwhile, adult comedy Inside Job centres on a shadow government and secret societies. The release features Lizzy Caplan, Christian Slater and Clark Duke.
Alongside the three titles, Netflix announced in June that its expansion will continue through a range of anime shows and films, including the horror series Exception, which will see characters designed by Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy).
Shows Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway, Bright: Samurai Soul and film Make My Day are listed to be available soon, while Shaman King and Edens Zero are slated for an August release.
These Netflix expansions predict that those studying an Animation course or Bachelor of Animation are set to enter an industry that's rapidly making strides in both profits and creative productions.
Head of Animation & VFX Simon Ashford shares, “We're seeing competition for content. Streaming services are hungry for fresh content. Previously they sourced that content from production companies. Now they are producing their own.”
“We're also seeing film producers like Disney & Paramount entering the streaming game. Animation production has been resilient in these COVID times. There has never been a better time in history to be in Animation & VFX. Traditionally the film industry has performed well in times of economic downturn. It's during these difficult times, audiences turn to storytelling for escapism,” he says.