Netflix Getting Movies by Brad Bird and Zootopia Director Thanks to New Skydance Animation Deal

Skydance Animation is making the leap from Apple to Netflix, bringing with it an animation slate that includes projects from animation legend Brad Bird and heavy-hitters. This despite big changes within Netflix, which is in the process of restructuring its animation department amid layoffs and cancellations.

THR reports that the new deal will bring Spellbound, an animated film starring Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, and Javier Barden, to the platform. Other movies making the leap includ Pookoo, the new movie by Tangled director Nathan Greno, as well as Brad Bird’s Ray Gunn and an untitled Jack and the Beanstalk project from Zootopia director Rich Moore.

The next film by Iron Giant director Brad Bird will be on Netflix.
The next film by Iron Giant director Brad Bird will be on Netflix.

Not much is known about Ray Gunn, which will be Bird’s first film since 2018’s The Incredibles 2. It has been described as a passion project that Bird co-wrote with Matthew Robbins for Warner Bros. Animation way back in the 1990s. It is said to take inspiration from 1930s science fiction, combining the high fantasy of Buck Rogers with gritty pulp novels.

As for Moore, he signed a multi-year deal to develop movies for Skydance back in 2017. While he’s best-known for his work on Zootopia, he also directed several golden age episodes of The Simpsons, winning an Emmy for Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment.

That’s a pretty big lineup, but it comes as Netflix rethinks its approach to animation overall. Recent cutbacks saw Netflix shut down work on Tunga and Escape from Beverly Hills, the latter of which returned to the open market. Netflix is also planning layoffs in the “coming weeks,” though a final headcount has not yet been confirmed. In the meantime, Netflix is planning to raise prices once again even as it reports close to 9 million new subscribers.

Spellbound, which is slated to release in 2024, will be the first movie released under the new deal, with Pookoo arriving in 2025.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

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