Disney Branded Television is in development with nine-time Emmy Award-winning international animation studio Baobab Studios on The Witchverse, an all-new animated anthology series based on Baobab Studios’ acclaimed, award-winning interactive experience Baba Yaga.
Working closely with Baobab Studios, Disney Television Animation is overseeing the development of the project for Disney+. Baobab Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Eric Darnell, writer and director of Baba Yaga, Madagascar and Antz, will executive produce the series.
The Witchverse is a global celebration of the international cultural phenomena of witches, their magic and their universal connection to nature. Each “witch-i-sode” will comically explore and upend common misconceptions surrounding global witch mythology and lore from a mélange of cultures and perspectives around the world.
Ayo Davis, President, Disney Branded Television, said, “We’re inspired by Baobab’s bold creative vision that redefines, deepens and expands storytelling about witches in a way that is transformative and entertaining and filled with humor and heart.”
Three-time Emmy Award-winning VR experience and animated short film Baba Yaga is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend Baba Yaga, an enigmatic witch who uses her powers to stop villagers whose settlement encroaches upon her enchanted forest. The immersive experience is brought to life with illustrative 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles and explores themes of empowerment and environmentalism. Baba Yaga will serve as a starting point for episode one of the new series.
“Disney is the ideal partner to be working with us on one of our most creatively ambitious storytelling endeavors,” said Darnell. “They uniquely have the ability to create entire new worlds like no one else on this planet, and in this collaboration, Baba Yaga has the potential to be a breath of fresh air for everyone who loves fairytales, both young and old, from different cultures.”
Founded by Darnell, Maureen Fan and Larry Cutler in 2015, Baobab Studios is the world-leading independent interactive animation studio behind eight critically and commercially successful projects to date: Invasion!, Asteroids!, Jack, Crow: The Legend, Bonfire, Baba Yaga, Paper Birds and this year’s Namoo.