Ember Ember

Netflix has scrapped Ember, the upcoming animated feature from director Sergio Pablos and his Madrid-based The SPA Studios.

Here’s what we know about the cancellation:

  • Word that Netflix had dropped the project first broke this afternoon on Variety. The streamer’s reasons for not moving forward with the film were “creatively driven, not cost-related,” per that publication’s sources.
  • Pablos has retained rights to the film and will be allowed to shop the film to other studios. Per Variety, the film also remains in production.
  • Ember was announced last spring. It was one of the only hand-drawn features on the streamer’s upcoming feature animation slate. The “epic adventure tale” would have told the story of humankind’s quest for fire through the eyes of a young girl, Dikika, who journeys to a distant volcano with the hope of retrieving a spark that could save her tribe.
  • Pablos is an industry veteran known both for his work as a supervising animator at Disney (Tarzan, Treasure Planet) and as a creator of animated concepts, including the initial conception of Warner Animation Group’s Smallfoot and Illumination’s powerhouse franchise Despicable Me.
  • Klaus (2019), which Pablos wrote, directed, and produced for Netflix, marked his feature directorial debut. The film was lauded for its innovative lighting and texturing techniques, resulting in more volumetric and polished 2d characters than commonly seen in traditional hand-drawn features. Klaus won the BAFTA for animated feature as well as seven Annie Awards including best feature, in addition to being nominated for an Oscar.

Watch Cartoon Brew’s interview with Pablos about Klaus:

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