Netflix has shared new details, first-look images, and casting reveals for nine animated films slated for release over the next 18 months. Capacity seems high – remember, last summer, the streamer announced its acquisition of the award-winning independent animation studio Animal Logic. Just saying…
Highlights include two new feature films coming in 2024: Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie and In Your Dreams, and an ensemble voice cast announcement for the summer 2023 release of Nimona.
Netflix’s 2023-2024 Feature Animation Slate:
Nimona – Coming Summer 2023
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.
Netflix has confirmed that previously announced cast members, Chloë Grace Moretz (Nimona), Riz Ahmed (Ballister Boldheart), and Eugene Lee Yang (Ambrosius Goldenloin) will be joined by Frances Conroy; Lorraine Toussaint; Beck Bennett; RuPaul Charles; Indya Moore; Julio Torres; and Sarah Sherman.
Nimona is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane and produced by Karen Ryan, p.g.a, Julie Zackary, p.g.a., and Roy Lee. The screenplay is by Robert L. Baird and Lloyd Taylor; the story is by Baird; Pamela Ribon; Marc Haimes; Bruno; Quane; and Keith Bunin. Executive producers are Megan Ellison; Baird; Andrew Millstein, and John Powers Middleton. Annapurna Animation produces the movie.
The Monkey King – Coming Summer 2023
The animated film 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—his own ego! Along the way, a young village girl challenges his self-centered attitude and shows him that even the smallest pebble can greatly affect the world.
Directed by Anthony Stacchi (The Boxtrolls) with Peilin Chou as producer and Stephen Chow as executive producer.
The cast includes 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
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). So, 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…
Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti, and David Wachtenheim direct with Happy Madison producing.
Starring alongside Sandler is Burr; Cecily Strong; Jason Alexander; Rob Schneider; Sadie Sandler; Sunny Sandler; Jackie Sandler; Heidi Gardner; Nick Swardson; Nicholas Turturro; Smigel; Jo Koy; and Stephanie Hsu
Chicken Run: Dawn of The Nugget – Coming Fall 2023
From 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 sequel to the beloved stop-motion animated, 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, 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!
Fell directs from a story by Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’ Farrell, who also wrote the screenplay with Rachel Tunnard. Steve Pegram and Leyla Hobart produce, with Peter Lord; Nick Park; Carla Shelley; Paul Kewley; and Karey Kirkpatrick as executive producers.
The voice cast includes 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
A perfect family? Siblings who get along? Yeah… in your dreams. This comedy adventure is about Stevie and her brother Elliot who magically travel into the world of dreams – their mission is to find “The Sandman,” who will grant them their ultimate wish, to save their parents’ marriage. The siblings, who are total opposites, discover that as long as they have each other, they can face anything, even their worst nightmare.
Alex Woo directs with Erik Benson as co-director. Gregg Taylor and Tim Hahn produce.
Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie
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.
Based on the SpongeBob SquarePants series created by Stephen Hillenburg, the film is directed by Liza Johnson (The Last of Us, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dead to Me) with the teleplay by Kaz and Tom Stern from a story by Kaz. Marc Ceccarelli and Vincent Waller are executive producers, Piero Piluso is the animation supervisor, and the music is by Moniker. The music supervisor is Karyn Rachtman.
The cast includes 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
Based on the children’s book series 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 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, and Richard Curtis is the writer.
Thelma The Unicorn – Coming in 2024
Thelma is a small-time pony who dreams of becoming a glamourous music star. In a pink and glitter-filled moment of fate, she is transformed into a unicorn and instantly rises to global stardom. But this new life of fame comes at a cost.
From directors Lynn Wang (Unikitty!) and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), and directed by Jared Hess and Lynn Wang, the film is produced by Pam Coats.
Ultraman – Coming in 2024
Based on the beloved Japanese character, the movie 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.
The film is directed by Shannon Tindle (Lost Ollie) with John Aoshima as co-director. Tindle and Marc Haimes are writers. Tom Knott and Lisa Poole are producers. Tsuburaya Productions and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) produced the movie.