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Netflix Announces ‘The Witch Boy’ Animated Musical Feature

Oscar-nominated director Minkyu Lee to helm, with original music by Haim.

Netflix has just announced a new animated musical feature film, The Witch Boy,’ with Oscar-nominated Minkyu Lee (Adam and Dog) directing and original music by the three-time Grammy Award-nominated band Haim. Based on the NYT best-selling graphic novel series of the same name by Molly Knox Ostertag, the film is being written by Maria Melnik, produced by Roy Lee, Miri Yoon, Ryan Harris, and Vertigo Entertainment, and released by the streaming giant.

The film will tell the story of a secret, magical community where girls are born to be witches and boys grow into shapeshifters, and Aster is surprised to discover his emerging and extraordinary witch powers. When a mysterious danger threatens his world, Aster must embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind himself, his powers, and everything that is magical.

According to Lee, “It has been a life-long dream of mine to create an animated film that pushes the medium forward, both in content and form. The connection between this dream, my experiences, and Aster and Juniper's story is what draws me to this film every day. I am grateful to be creating this with the wonderful team at Netflix. My hope is that this film, by celebrating queerness and "otherness," will come to audiences around the world as something truly special.”

Lee’s 2012 animated short film, Adam and Dog, was nominated for an Oscar and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Short. His credits include animating on Glen Keane's Oscar winning Dear Basketball, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, and The Princess and the Frog, as well as visual development on Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and storyboarding on Over the Moon.

Check out AWN’s 2013 Interview with Minkyu Lee
Minkyu Lee Talks 'Adam and Dog'

The Witch Boy joins Netflix’s expansive slate of original animated features which includes the previously released Academy Award-nominated Klaus, Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys, and Oscar winner Glen Keane’s Over the Moon. Features recently announced and in production include the upcoming Fall 2021 comedy Back to the Outback, directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps; Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure; Chris Williams’ The Sea Beast; Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild; Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon; Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio; Wendy Rogers’ The Magician’s Elephant; and an Aardman Chicken Run sequel.

They’ve also just acquired worldwide rights, outside of China, for The Mitchells vs. The Machines, a new animated comedy from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, producers of the Oscar-winning animated feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The film, which up until recently had been renamed Connected, was originally slated for an October 23, 2020 release, which was then unset; with the new deal, reportedly worth more than $100 millionthe feature will premiere later in 2021.

Source: Netflix

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.