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Netflix unveils eight European animated series and films ahead of Annecy

Netflix has announced eight new European animated projects, four series and four films, in the run-up to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival next week.

From the UK and Spain comes Bad Dinosaurs, a CG-animated series produced by Snafu Pictures that follows the shenanigans of a Tyrannosaurus family as they deal with the trials of life in the prehistoric wilderness while surrounded by incompetent dinosaurs.

Based on a series of online shorts co-created by Joel Veitch, animation will be provided by Able & Baker with Simone Giampaolo directing.

The second CG series, which comes from Italy, is called Mermaid Magic. It follows a teenage mermaid princess who leaves her undersea world for the unknown land above to track down a rare source of magic that will help her take on the evil forces above and below the waves that seek to destroy her kingdom.

Mermaid Magic is produced by Rainbow and its subsidiary Bardel (Rick & Morty), created and directed by Iginio Straffi and written by Rich Burns.

From France comes The Seven Bears, based on Emile Bravo’s graphic novels that put a twist on classic fairytales. Folivari is the production company, with CG animation provided by Cube. Robert Vargas is the showrunner.

Back in the UK, the final CG-animated series is Wereworld, produced by Lime Pictures and Jellyfish Pictures. Based on the books by Curtis Jobling, it is an epic fantasy adventure series that follows a boy as he comes of age and discovers he is the last in a long line of werewolves and rightful, yet reluctant, ruler of a land governed by ‘werelords.’

Jellyfish’s creative director, Tom Brass, directs, while Lime Pictures co-heads of kids and family Angelo Abela and Tim Compton produce with Curtis Jobling and Barry Quinn.

In the film category, Ember is a hand-drawn animation from Spain, an epic adventure tale about humankind’s quest for fire told through the eyes of a young girl who embarks on an impossible race to a distant volcano to retrieve the precious spark that will save her tribe. The story comes from Sergio Pablos and is produced by The SPA Studios.

From France comes a yet-to-be-titled CG feature directed by Steve Box and produced by Superprod Animation. The family comedy follows a gang of stray cats who are forced to go undercover to pull off the biggest heist of their lives, posing as the thing they most despise: the pampered pets of suburbia.

The final two features are CG-animated Christmas films from the UK. The first, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, sees Charles Dickens’ ageless character reborn in a supernatural, time-travelling, musical adaptation of the definitive Christmas story. Timeless Films produces and Stephen Donnelly directs.

The second, That Christmas, is based on Richard Curtis’s children’s books – a series of entwined tales about love and loneliness, family and friends, in which Santa Claus making a big mistake. Nicole P Hearon and Adam Tandy are producers, with Simon Otto directing. Locksmith Animation is the production company.

The announcements come after Netflix last month cancelled animated series Boons & Curses and Dino Daycare, both of which were in production, and development on Pearl, an animated series from Meghan Markle’s Archewell Productions.


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