A new passel of kids’ favorites culled from the world of children’s books and popular movies are set to be served up on Netflix.
The subscription-video-on-demand service unveiled a new slate of kids’ properties set to debut this fall, and in 2017 and 2018, part of an ongoing effort to draw younger viewers to the venue – and, perhaps, their parents. Netflix said it would renew “Kong: King of the Apes” for a second season expected to start in 2017, and launch new series based on the popular “Llama Llama” children’s books; the “Skylanders” videogame franchise; the “Hilda” graphic novels; the “Spy Kids” movie franchise; and the movie “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”
“At Netflix, we invest in stories that our members will love and cherish,” said Andy Yeatman, director of global kids content for the company, in a prepared statement. “This passion for discovering great storytelling extends to what we offer our youngest members, and we’re excited today to announce a lineup of original shows that will bring a number of well-known and beloved characters to kids and families around the globe.”
“Skylanders Academy” comes from Activision Blizzard Studios, with 13 episodes slated for the fall of 2016 and a second season expected in late 2017. The series is based on the popular videogame that incorporates action figures and sends users into a fantasy world filled with floating islands and magic. The series features the voices of Justin Long; Ashley Tisdale; Jonathan Banks; and Norm MacDonald. Additional voice talent includes Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Diamantopoulos and Harland Williams, among others.
“Llama Llama” is based on the book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney that offers lessons in emotional development for preschoolers. The animated show from Genius Brands is slated to debut in 2017 to Netflix members worldwide, and will focus on tales of a young llama’s life as he interacts with family and friends. The series is led by director Rob Minkoff, director Saul Blinkoff, showrunner Joe Purdy, art director Ruben Aquino and producers Jane Startz and Andy Heyward.
“Spirit Riding Free,” from DreamWorks Animation, is inspired by the 2002 Oscar-nominated film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” and follows the journey of a wild mustang who cannot be tamed. The horse falls into adventures with a courageous girl, Lucky. The series will premiere exclusively on Netflix in 2017 in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux and France.
The second season of “Kong: King of the Apes,” from 41 Entertainment & Avi Arad Productions, will resolve a cliffhanger from the first-season finale, and show new adventures in a prehistoric underworld filled with dinosaurs, pterosaurs and giant insects. The second season will launch worldwide in 2017.
“Spy Kids: Mission Critical” comes from producer Bob Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, and is based on the “Spy Kids” film franchise. The show follows brother-and-sister team Juni and Carmen Cortez as they attend Spy Kids Academy, a top-secret spy school for kid agents. They must train and lead a team of fellow Spy Kids cadets against the forces of S.W.A.M.P. (Sinister Wrongdoers Against Mankind’s Preservation) and their leader, Golden Brain. FM DeMarco of Netflix original series “Dragons: Race to the Edge” is head writer. The series will be available to Netflix members worldwide in 2018.
“Hilda” is a production of Silvergate Media, in collaboration with Mercury Filmworks, and is based the graphic novels by Luke Pearson. In this animated adventure aimed at older kids, a fearless blue-haired girl travels from her home to the bustling city of Trolberg, where she makes new friends and discovers creatures who are often mysterious and dangerous. Netflix members worldwide will be able to watch “Hilda” beginning in 2018.