With the first month of 2024 nearly behind us, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the exciting streaming animation releases coming our way in February.
Orion and the Dark
Release Date: February 2
Dreamworks Animation’s latest was first announced at Annecy in June, where we spoke with director Sean Charmatz, production designer Tim Lamb, and art director Christine Bian. Orion and the Dark is adapted by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) from Emma Yarlett’s 2014 children’s book of the same name. The film turns on Orion, a young man afraid of just about everything, including and especially the dark. So, things get tough for the boy when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit. The film’s animation, lighting, and vfx are all stunning, and we’re excited to see how audiences respond to this outside-the-box kids and family feature.
The Tiger’s Apprentice
Release Date: February 2
Previously slated for a theatrical release, Paramount shifted The Tiger’s Apprentice to its streaming platform late last year. Another adaptation, this time from a book by Laurence Yep, The Tiger’s Apprentice follows a Chinese-American boy who discovers that he is part of a long lineage of magical protectors known as the Guardians. Under the tutelage of a shape-shifting tiger named Mr. Hu, the boy must reunite the estranged Zodiac animal warriors to fight the evil forces threatening the world. The film is directed by long-time Dreamworks vet and Shrek the Third co-director Raman Hui and co-directed by Paul Watling (head of story Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Yong Duk Jhun (head of layout Vivo) from a screenplay by David Magee (Life of Pi) and Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok).
Salted Fish: Season 2
Release Date: February 15
We missed Salted Fish season one when it was first released, but thankfully, all 18 episodes of the wonderfully insane show are free to stream on Bilibili, so we were able to catch up quickly and are excited to see what’s in store with season two. The off-the-wall series tells the story of a preserved fish called Mr. Salted Fish, who lives at a seafood restaurant on an island and makes a living by working multiple part-time jobs. Mr. Salted Fish is uniquely bad at dealing with almost anything in a commonsense way, creating all kinds of crazy situations. That said, he’s a deeply sympathetic character, and watching him make friends on the island is a treat.
Second Best Hospital In The Galaxy
Platform: Prime Video
Release Date: February 23
Prime Video kicked off 2024 with the highly anticipated January release of Vivienne Medrano’s Hazbin Hotel, and the platform is back in February with another interest-piquing adult animation debut in The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy. The show is written, showrun, and executive produced by Cirocco Dunlap, a writer on Netflix’s Russian Doll, and animated by Titmouse. In the show, Dr. Sleech and Dr. Klak —aliens, best friends, and intergalactically renowned surgeons— attempt to tackle anxiety-eating parasites, illegal time loops, and deep-space STIs. The series’ soft color palette and throwback animation give it a retro-futuristic vibe that should appeal to older audiences, while its very modern themes should help it feel fresh.
Release Date: February 28
Iwájú is an original sci-fi animated kids and family series set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria. The show proposes the coming-of-age story of Tola, a young girl from a wealthy island, and her best friend Kole, a self-taught tech expert. Together, the duo discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different worlds. The series is helmed by pan-African outfit Kugali and directed by Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, who wrote alongside Halima Hudson. Iwájú’s release will be accompanied by Iwájú: A Day Ahead, a documentary special filmed across three continents that shares the story of the Kugali founders.