"The Witch Boy" "The Witch Boy"

Another week, another new animated feature announced by Netflix. The streamer has been stuffing its slate with acquisitions and self-produced films alike. The latest feature to join the line-up is the musical The Witch Boy.

Here’s the synopsis:

In a secret, magical community where girls are born to be witches and boys grow into shapeshifters, Aster is surprised to discover his emerging and extraordinary witch powers. When a mysterious danger threatens his world, Aster must embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind himself, his powers, and everything that is magical.

And here are the details:

  • The Witch Boy is directed by Minkyu Lee, a filmmaker and Disney veteran with a sparkling résumé. He has animated on Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and The Princess and the Frog, worked in visual development on Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, and Big Hero 6, and storyboarded on Netflix’s Over the Moon.
  • Lee first caught our attention with his independent short Adam and Dog, a remarkable film that went on to earn an Annie Award and an Oscar nomination.
  • The Witch Boy is based on Molly Knox Ostertag’s graphic novel of the same name and its sequels. The series has made the New York Times bestseller list. Maria Melnik (American Gods) is writing the screenplay.
  • Haim, the L.A. pop rock band composed of sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim, is attached to write the music.
  • The film will be produced for Netflix by Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment, which produced The Lego Movie and its sequel and spin-offs. It is also behind a lot of high-profile live-action horror, including Stephen King adaptations The Stand, Doctor Sleep, and the It films.
  • In a statement, Minkyu Lee said:

It has been a life-long dream of mine to create an animated film that pushes the medium forward, both in content and form. The connection between this dream, my experiences, and Aster and Juniper’s story is what draws me to this film every day. I am grateful to be creating this with the wonderful team at Netflix. My hope is that this film, by celebrating queerness and “otherness,” will come to audiences around the world as something truly special.

Image at top: visual development art by Minkyu Lee and Shiyoon Kim. Netflix © 2021

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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