Image Source: Featured Animation
Variety has revealed that 30 staff at Netflix Animation have been let go.
The announcement follows previous changes to Netflix’s management team, which included Traci Balthazor’s appointment as animated film production’s vice president earlier this year and Karen Toliver as vice president of animated film content.
Netflix consolidated its animated film production staff under the direction of Balthazor, who continues to collaborate closely with Toliver, leading to the layoffs.
Netflix Animation, which has had seven Oscar nominations since 2020 has not decreased production due to the reduction.
“Robin,” “Klaus,” “Over the Moon, Back to the Outback,” and Chris Williams’ “The Sea Beast” are among the animated features 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 all forthcoming. Additionally, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” “Vivo,” and “Wish Dragon” were all purchased by Netflix.
In July, animal Logic, an Australian animation studio, was purchased by Netflix in an all-cash deal. The studio and its 800 employees, most of whom are based in Sydney and Vancouver, “will help us expedite the development of our animation production capabilities and reinforces our commitment to construct a world-class animation studio,” according to Netflix’s Q2 letter to shareholders.
The corporation did not disclose animal Logic’s purchase price; however, it was said that cash on hand would be used to pay for it. If necessary regulatory clearances are received, Netflix anticipates closing later this year.
Toliver received a promotion in July and is now in charge of the film animation team, reporting to Scott Stuber, the head of global film. It resulted in the removal of levels from the leadership structure and the transition of Melissa Cobb and Gregg Taylor to creative producing partners, while Bruce Daitch left Netflix’s production team. In July, Netflix also purchased the Australian animation studio Animal Logic to boost its original animated picture slate.
Henry Selick, the director of “Coraline,” has had his newest animated film, “Wendell & Wild,” have its world premiere on Netflix at the Toronto International Film Festival. Other upcoming titles on the streamer include “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.
Inside the fledgling Netflix Animation and video games unit
Animations based on video games have a long history of appearing on TV. It’s a pattern that dates back to 1989, the year that saw the debuts of Dragon Quest, King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons, The Legend of Zelda, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! And throughout the past few years, Netflix’s animation studio has discreetly continued this frequently ignored subgenre, as evidenced by this week’s Cyberpunk: Edgerunners launch. Netflix has quietly done the extraordinary and turned these adaptations into must-watch TV at a time when animation doesn’t feel as dependable as it once did, and video game adaptations are still frequently the subject of eye rolls.
Castlevania served as the catalyst. The series was technically Netflix’s second video game adaptation to be promoted as an original after the Spyro-centered Skylander’s Academy. Frederator Studios produced it. However, it was the first of its extremely particular sort to receive critical attention. Castlevania received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94 percent, led by Adi Shankar, a devoted fan of the series. This is an incredible score in and of itself, but it becomes even more so when you consider how frequently animation and video game adaptations are neglected.
John Derderian, Head of Animated Series at Netflix, responded, “A story with a lot of terrific characters, a great journey, and a lot of heart.