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Netflix Reveals 2022 Animated Feature Slate

The streaming giant shares a film lineup filled with adventure, fantasy, fun… and a healthy dose of anime.

Netflix has just released its 2022 lineup of animated features, including one new teaser image and a trailer that includes glimpses of coming live-action fare as well.

The streamer’s preview includes synopses, very few release dates, and some casting info; of the eight films shared, three are anime from Japan. There’s a healthy mix of stop-motion, 2D and 3DCG, with the focus on fantasy, adventure, and fun. Let’s first take a look at the teaser for the full film slate - including animated entries - then a short breakdown on each of the eight animated features.

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood
No release date set

Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives – the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and through the eyes of a kid growing up in Houston, Texas who has intergalactic dreams of his own. Taking inspiration from Academy Award-nominated® filmmaker Richard Linklater’s own life, Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood is a snapshot of American life in the 1960s that is part coming of age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure.

Written and directed by Richard Linklater, the film stars Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise, Natalie L'Amoreaux, Josh Wiggins, Sam Chipman, Jessica Brynn Cohen, and Danielle Guilbot, with Zachary Levi and Glenn Powell and Jack Black.

Linklater, Mike Blizzard, Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting, and Bruno Felix produce: John Sloss serves as executive producer.

Coming to Netflix April 28

This anime from Japan is set in Tokyo, after bubbles that broke the laws of gravity rained down upon the world. Cut off from the outside world, Tokyo has become a playground for a group of young people who have lost their families, acting as a battlefield for parkour team battles as they leap from building to building. Hibiki, a young ace known for his dangerous play style, makes a reckless move one day and plummets into the gravity-bending sea. His life is saved by Uta, a girl with mysterious powers who appears suddenly. The pair then hear a unique sound audible only to them. Why did Uta appear before Hibiki? Their encounter leads to a revelation that will change the world.

The film is directed by Tetsuro Araki and written by Gen Urobuchi, with character designs by Takeshi Obata. The Japanese voice cast includes Jun Shison, Mamoru Miyano, Yuki Kaji, and Tasuku Hatanaka.

Drifting Home
No release date set

In this anime from Japan, Kosuke and Natsume have been friends since childhood, but as time goes on the relationship between the two sixth graders seems strained as they keep avoiding one another. One day during their summer vacation, they go to a housing complex that is scheduled to be demolished. Having grown up there, the place holds a lot of memories. While playing, they suddenly get caught up in a mysterious phenomenon and when they regain consciousness, they see an entire ocean before them as the housing complex has drifted into a mysterious sea along with Kosuke and Natsume with it. Will they be able to return to their previous world? A summer farewell journey begins.

The film is directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, produced by Koji Yamamoto, and written by Hayashi Mori, Hiroyasu Ishida & Minaka Sakamoto, with character designs by Akihiro Nagae.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Coming to Netflix in December

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro reinvents Carlo Collodi's classic tale of the wooden marionette who is magically brought to life in order to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto. This whimsical, stop-motion musical directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson follows the mischievous and disobedient adventures of Pinocchio in his pursuit of a place in the world.

Similar to del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, a dark fantasy fable set against the backdrop of Franco-fascist Spain, Pinocchio will take place in Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy of the 1930s. For this adaptation, del Toro shares directing duties with Mark Gustafson (The PJs). The film is being written by del Toro and Patrick McHale; the producers include del Toro, Lisa Henson (Jim Henson Company), Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico (ShadowMachine) and Gary Ungar. Jason Lust serves as executive producer.

The film stars David Bradley as Geppetto and introduces Gregory Mann as Pinocchio. Other cast members include Ewan McGregor, Finn Wolfhard; Cate Blanchett; John Turturro; Ron Perlman; Tim Blake Nelson; Burn Gorman; Christoph Waltz; and Tilda Swinton.

My Father’s Dragon
Release date not set

Inspired by the book “My Father's Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett, and produced by five-time Oscar-nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, Wolfwalkers), My Father’s Dragon tells the story of Elmer, struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother, who runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who waits to be rescued. Elmer's adventures introduce him to ferocious beasts, a mysterious island and the friendship of a lifetime.

The film is helmed by Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey (The Breadwinner), produced by Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn, and Paul Young, and written by Meg LeFauve. LeFauve, John Morgan, Tomm Moore, Gerry Shirren, Ruth Coady, and Alan Moloney serve as executive producers.

The Sea Beast
Release date not set

In an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes - and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland. But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history. From Academy Award winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero Six, Bolt), The Sea Beast takes us to where the map ends, and the true adventure begins.

The film is directed by Williams, produced by Williams and Jed Schlanger, and written by Williams and Nell Benjamin.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh Part 1
No release date set

With over 37 million copies sold and winning in the children’s category of the 39th Kodansha Manga Award, “The Seven Deadly Sins” (original work by Nakaba Suzuki published by Kodansha in Weekly Shonen Magazine) is getting a spin-off anime film, featuring an original story by Suzuki. Split into two parts, the story will follow Tristan, the son of “The Seven Deadly Sins” protagonists Meliodas and Elizabeth. Tristan inherits the power of the Goddess Clan and can heal people's wounds and injuries, but he often ends up hurting others due to his inability to control his Demon Clan power. To protect his family, Tristan heads to Edinburgh Castle and meets a host of new friends along the way.

Produced in Japan, the film is directed by Bob Shirahata and written by Rinitaro Ikeda.

Wendell & Wild
No release date set

From the delightfully wicked minds of Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) and Jordan Peele (Get Out) comes Wendell & Wild, an animated tale about scheming demon brothers Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele) - who enlist the aid of 13-year-old Kat Elliot - a tough teen with a load of guilt - to summon them to the Land of the Living. But what Kat demands in return leads to a brilliantly bizarre and comedic adventure like no other, an animated fantasy that defies the law of life and death, all told through the handmade artistry of stop motion.

The film is directed by Selick, written by Selick and Peele, and produced by Selick Peele, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, and Win Rosenfeld. Lindsay Williams, Eddie Gamarra, Kamil Oshundara, and Ian Cooper serve as executive producers.

Source: Netflix

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