This morning, Netflix unveiled its 2023 Kids & Family slate, providing new photos and release date confirmations for a number of exciting toon titles across both features and series.
Based on the book by Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux, Flora and Ulysses), the animated feature film The Magician’s Elephant has been dated for release on March 17. Directed by veteran animator and VFX artist Wendy Rogers (Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Flushed Away) from a screenplay by Martin Hines (Toy Story 4), the movie is produced by Netflix Animation and Animal Logic.
When Peter (voiced by Noah Jupe), who is searching for his long-lost sister named Adele (Pixie Davies), crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square, there is only one question on his mind: is his sister still alive? The answer, that he must find a mysterious elephant and the magician (Benedict Wong) who will conjure it, sets Peter off on a harrowing journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will change the face of his town forever and take him on the adventure of a lifetime.
The cast also features Sian Clifford, Natasia Demetriou, Dawn French, Brian Tyree Henry, Aasif Mandvi, Mandy Patinkin, Miranda Richardson, Cree Summer and Lorraine Toussaint. Julia Pistor is producing.
Adam Sandler’s post-Hotel Transylvania animated feature project has announced its title Leo and set its streaming premiere for November 22. The coming-of-age musical comedy is being directed by W/M Animation founders Robert Marianetti & David Wachtenheim and TV Funhouse creator Robert Smigel, produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison banner.
Leo explores the last year of elementary school — as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo (Adam 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…
The stellar comedy cast also includes Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Rob Schneider, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Heidi Gardner, Nick Swardson, Nicholas Turturro, Robert Smigel, Jo Koy and Stephanie Hsu.
Netflix also unveiled a new image for The Monkey King, coming this year. Directed by Oscar nominee Anthony Stacchi (The Boxtrolls, Open Season), produced by Peilin Chou (Over the Moon, Abominable, Kung Fu Panda 3), executive produced by Stephen Chow and written by Open Season scribes Steven Bencich, Ron J. Friedman and Rita Hsiao, this new adaptation of the classic Chinese tale is produced by Netflix Animation.
The Monkey King is an action-packed family comedy that follows a monkey and his magical fighting Stick as they team up on an epic quest where they must go head to head against gods, demons, dragons and the greatest enemy of all — Monkey’s own ego!
The voice cast features 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.
On the series side, young toon fans can look forward to more of the Oddballs when Season 2 drops on February 24. New images were debuted today for the 2D comedy-adventure’s next chapter, created and executive produced by James Rallison and Ethan Banville.
Oddballs follows James, a bubble-shaped boy, whose observations on life fuel his comedic rants at everyday annoyances and elevates them to laughably absurd heights. Along with his best friends Max (a talking crocodile) and Echo (a girl who claims to be from the future), James’ ridiculous schemes to question norms often result in disaster.
Cast: James Rallison, Julian Gant, Kimberly Brooks, Gary Anthony Williams and Carl Faruolo.
Upcoming interactive comedy-adventure We Lost Our Human also received a release date (March 21) and released new imagery, revealing more of Pud and Ham’s epic quest through a human-free world.
The adventure begins when two pets wake up one day to discover that every human on Earth has disappeared! Desperate to find their owner, Pud the Cat and Ham the Dog venture out into the world for the first time ever, and wind up on a wild trip through the universe. Discovering strange new worlds, bizarre creatures and general mayhem, this grumpy cat and overly-hyper dog soon realize that every choice they make has huge consequences and the journey to find their beloved owner is anything but ordinary.
Starring the voices of Ben Schwartz, Ayo Edebiri, Adrienne C. Moore and Lauren Tom; executive produced by Chris Garbutt and Rikke Asbjoern.
2023 Kids Animation Highlights – Dates Announced
- Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight Season 2 (available now)
- Jan. 30 – Minions: The Rise of Gru (licensed, U.S. & Australia only)
- Jan. 30 – Princess Power Season 1
- Feb. 9 – My Dad the Bounty Hunter Season 1
- FEBRUARY 24 – Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series Pt . 2 (DATE ANNOUNCED)
- MARCH 17 – The Magician’s Elephant (DATE ANNOUNCED)
- MARCH 21 – We Lost Our Human (DATE ANNOUNCED)
- NOVEMBER 22 – Leo (DATE ANNOUNCED)
New Animated Movies/Series Coming in 2023
- Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
- The Monkey King
- UglyDolls (licensed, select regions)
- CoComelon Lane Season 1
- Dew Drop Diaries Season 1
- The Dragon Prince Season 5
- Mama K’s Team 4 Season 1
- Mech Cadets Season 1
- My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale
- Not Quite Narwhal Season 1
- SharkDog Season 3
- Spirit Rangers Season 2
Corrections: A previous version of this article attributed writing credits to Leo that have not been confirmed by Netflix.
Co-producers for Monkey King previously listed were based on outdated information.