Netflix Snaps Up Richard Curtis Adaptation ‘That Christmas,’ Unveils European Animated Slate
09 Jun 2022

In the run up to Annecy festival, Netflix has unveiled a powerful slate of talent-driven animated films and series, including “That Christmas” based on BAFTA winner Richard Curtis’ children’s books, and “Ember,” Sergio Pablos’ follow-up to the Oscar-nominated “Klaus.”


Netflix’s roster of animated features also boasts the musical “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” which features songs by Leslie Bricusse; an untitled animated film by Steve Box, the Oscar-winning “Wallace & Gromit” alumni. Netflix has also boarded new original series productions including “Bad Dinosaurs” from Snafu Pictures and Able & Baker; “Mermaid Magic” from Rainbow, “The Seven Bears” from Folivari, as well as “Wereworld” which is based on the series of fantasy novels by Curtis Jobling and is produced by from Lime Pictures.


“Ember” is a hand-drawn epic adventure tale of humankind’s quest for fire told through the eyes of young Dikika who embarks on an impossible race to a distant volcano to retrieve the precious spark that will save her tribe. The SPA Studios is producing.


“Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” (first still pictured below) produced by Timeless Films and directed by Stephen Donnelly, is a CG animated feature delivering a supernatural, time-travelling, musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s cult Christmas story. The film, which will boast re-imagined songs from Leslie Bricusse, will launch on Netflix in December.


“That Christmas” (first look still pictured above) based on the successful series of children’s books by Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Love Actually”), marks the feature film directorial debut of Simon Otto, the renowned character animation and story artist veteran whose credits include “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy.


“That Christmas” follows a series of entwined tales about love and loneliness, family and friends, and Santa Claus making a big mistake. Nicole P. Hearon (Moana, Frozen) and Adam Tandy (The Thick of It, Detectorists) are producing at Locksmith Animation.


The untitled Steve Box Animated Film is an original animated family comedy heist movie which is being made by Steve Box (“Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were Rabbit”) and Superprod Animation.


In terms of series, “Bad Dinosaurs” is the debut animated series from Snafu Pictures is based on a series of hit online shorts co-created by animation veteran Joel Veitch. The animation will be produced by Able & Baker (“Love Death & Robots”), and directed by Simone Giampaolo.


“Mermaid Magic” is being created and directed by Iginio Straffi (“WinxClub”) and Emmy award winning animation studio Rainbow/Bardel (“Rick and Morty”), together with the popular head writer Rich Burns (“Spirit Riding Free”). The CG animated series is being produced by Rainbow.


“The Seven Bears” is based on the acclaimed graphic novels by Emile Bravo and is being created by award-winning Animation Studio Folivari with the veteran showrunner Robert Vargas.


“Wereworld,” based on the books by Curtis Jobling, is an epic fantasy adventure series following Drew Ferran as he comes of age and discovers he’s the last of a long line of Werewolves. The series is directed by Tom Brass for Jellyfish Pictures and produced by Angelo Abela, Tim Compton, Curtis Jobling and Barry Quinn for Lime Pictures.


Netflix’ slate of upcoming European animation titles includes Oscar-nominated director Nora Twomey’s “My Father’s Dragon” from Cartoon Saloon which will premiere on the streamer this fall; “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget;” an untitled “Wallace & Gromit” project from Studio Aardman; an adult animated series by Zerocalcare from Italy: and “Captain Fall” from Norwegian showrunners Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgerson.


By K.J. Yossman, Elsa Keslassy