Netflix Animation Lays Off 30 Employees

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Image Source: Featured Animation

Variety has revealed that 30 staff at Netflix Animation have been let go.

The announcement follows previous changes to Netflix’s management team, which included Traci Balthazor’s appointment as animated film production’s vice president earlier this year and Karen Toliver as vice president of animated film content.

Netflix consolidated its animated film production staff under the direction of Balthazor, who continues to collaborate closely with Toliver, leading to the layoffs.

Netflix Animation, which has had seven Oscar nominations since 2020 has not decreased production as a result of the reduction.

“Robin,” “Klaus,” “Over the Moon, Back to the Outback,” and Chris Williams’ “The Sea Beast” are among the animated features and shorts available on the streamer. “Wendell & Wild” by Henry Selick and Jordan Peele, “My Father’s Dragon” by Nora Twomey, “Pinocchio” by Guillermo del Toro, “The Magician’s Elephant” by Wendy Rogers, and a “Chicken Run” sequel are all forthcoming. Additionally, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” “Vivo,” and “Wish Dragon” were all purchased by Netflix.

In July, animal Logic, an Australian animation studio, was purchased by Netflix in an all-cash deal. The studio and its 800 employees, the majority of whom are based in Sydney and Vancouver, “will help us accelerate the development of our animation production capabilities and reinforces our commitment to build a world-class animation studio,” according to Netflix’s Q2 letter to shareholders.

The company did not disclose animal Logic’s purchase price, but it was stated that cash on hand would be used to pay for it. Subject to certain regulatory approvals, Netflix anticipates closing later this year.

Toliver received a promotion in July and is now in charge of the film animation team, reporting to Scott Stuber, the head of global film. It resulted in removing layers from the leadership structure and shifting Melissa Cobb and Gregg Taylor to creative producing partners, while Bruce Daitch left Netflix’s production team. In July, Netflix also purchased the Australian animation studio Animal Logic to support its original animated film slate.

Henry Selick, the director of “Coraline,” just had his newest animated film, “Wendell & Wild,” have its world premiere on Netflix at the Toronto International Film Festival. The streamer also has coming up Nora Twomey’s “My Father’s Dragon,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” Wendy Rogers’ “The Magician’s Elephant,” and the sequel to the Aardman film “Chicken Run.”

The budding Netflix animation and video games unit

Video Games have a lengthy history of being turned into animation for TV. It’s a pattern that can be traced back to 1989, a year that saw the premieres of Dragon Quest, King Koopa’s Kool Kartoons, The Legend of Zelda, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! And for the past few years, Netflix’s animation section has been quietly pursuing this often-overlooked subgenre, including this week’s launch of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. At a time when video game adaptations are still often the subject of eye rolls and animation doesn’t feel as reliable as it once was, Netflix has quietly done the amazing and made these adaptations into must-watch TV.

It started with Castlevania. Produced by Frederator Studios, the series was officially Netflix’s second video game adaptation to be presented as an original behind the Spyro-focused Skylander Academy. However, it was the first of its extremely particular sort to receive critical notice. Led by Adi Shankar, a longtime admirer of the series, Castlevania averaged 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – a stunning number in its own right, but one that is even more so when you account for how often video game adaptations and animation, in general, are disregarded.

Read Also: Netflix partners with Ubisoft to boost its gaming division 

When asked what Netflix looks for when considering making or distributing a video game adaptation, John Derderian, the Head of Animated Series for Netflix, replied, “a story with a lot of wonderful characters, a tremendous journey, a lot of heart.