Netflix is currently recognized for its cartoons, charming documentaries, and wild-life programming in addition to its new age, graphic, or explicit content. The last group includes Nimona.
Netflix synopsis: Nimona, a cheeky kid who also happens to be a shape-shifting beast he’s pledged to destroy, is the only person who can help a knight who has been falsely accused of committing a crime establish his innocence.
Cast: Frances Conroy, Lorraine Toussaint, Beck Bennett, RuPaul Charles, Indya Moore, Julio Torres, Sarah Sherman, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang, Chloe Grace Moretz,
Why watch: The original webcomic-turned-graphic book Nimona by ND Stevenson is a very emotional work that is full of unexpected turns. This remake, from Spies in Disguise directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, was nearly scrapped when Disney acquired and shut down Blue Sky Studios, the production company behind the Ice Age films. But Netflix was able to buy it and save it.
Netflix synopsis: When a knight in a futuristic medieval world is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona — a mischievous teen who happens to be a shapeshifting creature he’s sworn to destroy.
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang, Frances Conroy, Lorraine Toussaint, Beck Bennett, RuPaul Charles, Indya Moore, Julio Torres, Sarah Sherman
Why to watch: ND Stevenson’s original webcomic-turned-graphic novel Nimona is a tremendou semotional experience full of surprises. This adaptation, from Spies in Disguise directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane,
THE MONKEY KING (SUMMER 2023)
Netflix 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.
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
Why to watch: Director Anthony Stacchi previously helmed Laika’s deeply weird and enjoyable adventure The Boxtrolls. The Monkey King, a longtime staple of Asian storytelling, from historical epics to modern animated movies, is one of the liveliest characters in Chinese legend, and he usually makes for a fun time on screen.
LEO (FALL 2023)
Netflix 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…
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
Why to watch: Directors Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, and David Wachtenheim are all veterans of Saturday Night Live’s “TV Funhouse” segments (the Ambiguously Gay Duo shorts, The X-Presidents, etc.). The clip shown at Netflix’s animation preview showcased a lively musical number with some of the slapstick humor and animal/kid bonding of Netflix’s Vivo.
CHICKEN RUN: DAWN OF THE NUGGET (FALL 2023)
Netflix 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), 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!
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
Why to watch: Advance footage of the Chicken Run sequel looks and sounds astonishingly similar to the original film, as if this movie had been made in 2001 and unearthed last week. Most of the original cast is back (apart from Mel Gibson, and with Westworld’s Thandiwe Newton stepping into the lead role), which makes this all seem even more familiar. Chicken Run fans are bound to be curious about how this movie continues the story.