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DreamWorks Will Make ‘King Julien,’ ‘Puss in Boots,’ and ‘Veggie Tales’ Series for Netflix

DreamWorks has announced three new series as part of its mega-content deal with Netflix. The series are King Julien (featuring the Sacha Baron Cohen-voiced lemur from the Madagascar series), Puss in Boots, and the faith-based Veggie Tales in the House.

The first series that DreamWorks produced under their Netflix deal, Turbo F.A.S.T., premiered last December. The three new series will premiere by the end of 2014.

“We are having a ton of fun creating this new content for Netflix,” says Margie Cohn, head of television at DreamWorks Animation. “There is so much richness to be found within each show world and a wealth of comic opportunity to entertain fans of DreamWorks in new and surprising ways.”

  • I think the biggest surprise to me is the announcement of a new VeggieTales series. Kinda forgot that Dreamworks owns the rights to them now. The only other VT spinoff I can think of for that show is The Cartoon Adventures of Larryboy.

    Will this spinoff be in 2D like Larryboy? What is it about this series that will differentiate it from the original?

    • ILDC

      The press release implies the vegetables will explore a house as they “venture off the counter top”.

  • Crystal

    Turbo FAST is a pretty awesome looking show. I wonder if they could look like that . . .

    I think what really bugs me is why do all these Netflix-exclusive animated shows have to be KIDS’ shows?! I thought like HBO, Netflix is allowed to take risks because its audience already pays for it, so they’re less dependent on views the way television is on ratings?

    And when I say “make a show for adults” I mean write it as if you’re writing for adults and don’t have to keep it G-Rated, as opposed to stuff like Brickleberry and Drawn Together that tend to focus more on being R-Rated than actual substance.

    • ILDC

      They’re doing an animated show for adults called BoJack Horseman. It doesn’t seem to be ranch fest like those two shows you named.

      • Paul M

        Personally, I’d like to see Netflix produce an original action adventure cartoon, or else resurrect one that deserves another chance, like Sym-Bionic Titan, Young Justice, or Reboot (Especially Reboot!).

        They already own the streaming rights to Green Lantern, how about ordering more episodes of that? Pretty please, Netflix!

  • as long as they get the stereotypes right

  • Lili

    Too bad 90% of the jobs are in Canada.

    • Canada

      We have starving animators who need work too.

    • ghost

      Too bad u think the work is going on in Canada.

  • brandon

    I’ve yet to watch “Turbo: F.A.S.T.”, but one thing’s for sure, I’d definitely watch a Puss In Boots show over anything related to Veggie Tales or Madagascar.

  • ILDC

    All these sound as bland as the other DreamWorks shows, but I’m a grown-up, so what do I know.

  • Pedro Nakama

    DreamWorks has finally figured out there’s more money in television and streaming than making features.

  • Steven Bowser

    Just let Veggie Tales die with dignity! You’re ruining my childhood… :'(

    • JudeJackson

      The good ones are still there, and the damage has already been done with the later ones. Personally I’d like to see where it goes; the later ones got bloated with reference humor, mixed messages, and weird awkward attempts at character development (Larry’s family apparently is a bunch of aloof rich weirdos with no personalities?). If the new TV series turns out anything like 3 2 1 Penguins did it might be worthwhile.

      • Steven Bowser

        It just sucks that it sold out so badly. You can tell that it’s under new management and that the new people don’t care as much about the characters or even the heart of the show. It’s become vague “family values” instead of fun Bible teaching, which was the point.
        So they’re like “The Bible? That’s boring. Howabout Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter or something!”
        Anyways. I’d like it to leave with dignity like Calvin and Hobbes, but it’s too late.

        • JudeJackson

          You might be misremembering the early shows, half of the stories were non-biblical and a great deal of them were pop culture parodies; the second one features a Grapes of Wrath and a Gilligan’s Island parody without any bible analogue. The flaw in the later shows had nothing to do with their infidelity to representing bible lessons, they just stank. The Duke and the Great Pie War is strictly biblical, that doesn’t make it any less lousy. Madam Blueberry’s secular relevance doesn’t detract from it being one of the best shows they did.

          • Steven Bowser

            You’re totally right 100% wow. Madame Blueberry is actually my favorite episode and I didn’t even notice that it wasn’t from the Bible.
            Yea, I guess they just stunk for some reason.

  • James Fox

    I’m concerned about “Veggie Tales in the House” – reboots are often hit or miss
    Classic Media’s reboots are mostly miss – notably: Gerald McBoing Boing, Rupert Bear: Follow The Magic and George of the Jungle

    If DreamWorks wants my attention than the must produce these for Netflix
    – a Rupert [Bear] revival that’s faithful to the comics (like the 1991-1997 Nelvana series was)
    – Mr. Peabody and Sherman: The Series – The movie did a fine job keeping the source material in tact with it’s own whimsical quirks, a TV show would be a logical way to step it up
    – The Basil Brush Show – A Netflix exclusive reboot [for BOTH the US and UK] that has the splendid blend of the whimsical oddball humor of the original BBC series and the zaniness of the 2002 revival

    • Trevor Cutler

      Peabody didn’t do well in theatres so unlikely they would do a new series.

  • SarahJesness

    I had no idea that DreamWorks owned the rights to Veggie Tales. But unless they finally do a crucifixion episode, I’ll probably pass.

    Don’t really care for King Julien, but whatever. I don’t expect much from Puss in Boots, but I will keep an eye on it. The movie turned out a LOT better than I expected, so I am interested to see what they’d do with a series. Maybe we’ll find out what led Puss to become an ogre hunter?

    Admittedly I am a little disappointed that DreamWorks isn’t using this deal to try out new, riskier ideas. One thing I like about Netflix original programming is that it generally offers more freedom to try new things and avoid usual conventions. My roommates and I are obsessed with Orange is the New Black and it does a lot of things you’d almost never see on television or film. (and I’m not referring to the nudity)

    • JudeJackson

      I’m kind of over the whole idea that existing franchise =/= risk. Sure, it’s safer than a completely original cast, but franchises are used all the time in creative and risky ways. It’s not movies, but it’s worth pointing out that Nintendo’s Mario franchise technically includes Super Mario Bros., Mario Tennis, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., WarioWare, Wario Land, Mario Paint, Mario Kart, Mario Pinball, Dr. Mario, Yoshi’s Cookie, Luigi’s Mansion, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Konga, Yoshi’s Island, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, and arguably Animal Crossing. Claiming none of those are risky is glib; sure, the franchise offers some security, but there’s nothing “safe” about a game where you pilot a jet-powered finger and have to pick giant flying noses (WarioWare)

      • Gagaman

        How is Animal Crossing a spin off of Mario? O_o

        • JudeJackson

          It’s arguably within the franchise because of their crossovers. I’ll grant that’s a stretch, but the Animal Crossing series is undoubtedly supported by Nintendo’s strong branding.

          • Gagaman

            By that logic almost every Nintendo franchise is a Mario spin off (smash bros). That’s such a stretch it snapped. :P

  • JudeJackson

    Yeah, I’m saying the jury’s still out over whether they’ll actually do something different or not. I don’t think there’s anything inherent in King Julien and Puss that would prevent their respective shows from deviating in tone and style from their source material. The Puss in Boots film I thought was a pretty decent example of that; for goodness sake it was a spaghetti western* in the Shrek universe. I don’t really expect the shows to be that original either, but we’re not going off of much.

    *For all you pedants, a lot of spaghetti westerns were actually filmed largely in Spain. And anyway I’m talking about the style, not the production.

    • ILDC

      The Penguins of Madagascar was enough of a King Julien show for me.

  • JudeJackson

    Beyond franchising specifically, there’s also more general branding. Eg, Futurama as part of the Matt Groening “creator of the Simpsons” brand, Coraline as part of the Henry Selick “director of The Nightmare Before Christmas i.e. still profiting off of people confusing me with Tim Burton” brand. But yeah, I agree, I’m just not ready to write them off. Dreamworks does do a bit of experimenting with lower-budget productions, eg. How to Train Your Dragon, to try out new franchises.

  • Austin Papageorge

    Well, I guess Dreamworks had to make use of the Classic Media purchase sometime.

    • Actually, I might be wrong, but I’m 99% sure that Peabody was also acquired in the purchase. (Note: I might be wrong.) That being said, I think that at least initially the VeggieTales series will do well because of the already-acquired audience of evangelicals. If it ends up being like the 3-2-1 Penguins television show they did (creativity wise), I think Dreamworks will be very happy with the way the money turns out.

  • JudeJackson

    It’s not, I mixed up my memory and didn’t double-check it.

  • EHH

    The new Veggie Tales series is being done by Doug TenNaple.

    • Mike Cervantes

      sounds like the oddest news in the world, but Phil Vischer has had Tennapel as a guest on his podcast a few times, so it could happen.

    • I could see it working, but will wait to judge until the show is out.

    • Jonathan Jean-Louis

      This is good news! Also, the elder of the two brothers behind “Axe Cop” and Mike Nelson (yes, that Mike Nelson) are also writing for this show, so there’s a good chance this new Netflix show will be good. The only thing that might taint this show will be executive meddling.

  • ILDC

    The Qubo series was set in a house, but not a house much bigger than the veggies. Qubo also toned down most of the Christian themes, while Netflix mentions “faith-based recipes”.