Netflix Announces New SpongeBob Film ‘Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie’ And Sibling Comedy ‘In Your Dreams’
Netflix Animation today shared details about nine animated films that will debut on the streamer across 2023-2024.
Major highlights include two previously unannounced 2024 animated features, Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie and In Your Dreams. The former is the latest SpongeBob title, directed by Liza Johnson (The Last of Us, A Series of Unfortunate Events), while the latter is an original film directed by Alex Woo (Go! Go! Cory Carson) and co-directed by Erik Benson (writer, The Good Dinosaur).
With nine animated films coming out over the next two years, Netflix has further reinforced its position as one of the most important producers and distributors of feature animation. All this after a year that saw the company win its first animated feature Oscar with Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and acquire Australian indie animation studio Animal Logic.
Here what Netflix Animation has planned for 2023-2024:
Nimona – Summer 2023
- This adaptation of ND Stevenson’s popular eponymous graphic novel is Directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane from a screenplay by Robert L. Baird. Animation is being handled by DNEG Animation and the film is produced out of the recently launched animation division at Annapurna.
- Synopsis: When a knight in a futuristic medieval world is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona — a mischievous teen who happens to be a shapeshifting creature he’s sworn to destroy.
- More details here.
The Monkey King – Summer 2023
- The Monkey King is directed by Anthony Stacchi (The Boxtrolls), produced by Peilin Chou, and executive produced by Stephen Chow. It features an A-list voice cast including Jimmy O. Yang, Bowen Yang, Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, Jo Koy, Ron Yuan, Hoon Lee, Stephanie Hsu, Andrew Pang, Andrew Kishino, Jodi Long, James Sie, and BD Wong.
- Synopsis: The Monkey King follows a charismatic Monkey and his magical fighting Stick on an epic quest for victory over 100 demons, an eccentric Dragon King, and Monkey’s greatest foe of all —his own ego! Along the way, a young village girl challenges his self-centered attitude and shows him that even the smallest pebble can have a big effect on the world.
- More info here.
Leo – Fall 2023
- Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti, and David Wachtenheim direct this Happy Madison production. Another star-heavy voice cast here includes Adam Sandler, Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Rob Schneider, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Heidi Gardner, Nick Swardson, Nicholas Turturro, Robert Smigel, Jo Koy, and Stephanie Hsu.
- Synopsis: A coming-of-age animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school – as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle. When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students — including an impossibly mean substitute teacher. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever…
- More info here.
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget – Fall 2023
- Sam Fell directs this sequel to Aardman’s 2000 BAFTA-nominated feature Chicken Run. Voice casting includes Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi, Bella Ramsey, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Ferguson, David Bradley, Jane Horrocks, Romesh Ranganathan, Daniel Mays, Josie Sedgwick-Davies, and Nick Mohammed.
- Synopsis: Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream — a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk — this time, they’re breaking in!
- More info here.
In Your Dreams – 2024
- Alex Woo directs with Erik Benson co-directing. Gregg Taylor and Tim Hahn are producing.
- Synopsis: A perfect family? Siblings who get along? Yeah… in your dreams. This is a comedy adventure about Stevie and her brother Elliot who magically travel into the world of dreams with the mission of finding The Sandman who will grant them their ultimate wish — saving their parents’ marriage. The kids are total opposites, making them an unlikely duo to navigate the absurdity of their own subconscious. Along their journey, they discover that as long as they have each other, they can face anything, even their worst nightmare.
Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie – 2024
- Liza Johnson directs from a script by Kaz and Tom Stern. The film’s voice cast is a mix of series regulars and franchise newcomers including Carolyn Lawrence, Tom Kenny, Wanda Sykes, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Mr. Lawrence, Rodger Bumpass, Johnny Knoxville, Craig Robinson, Grey DeLisle, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, and Matty Cardarople.
- Synopsis: When Bikini Bottom and all its denizens are suddenly scooped out of the ocean, Sandy Cheeks and SpongeBob SquarePants journey to Texas to save the town from a villainous plot.
That Christmas – 2024
- Simon Otto directs this Locksmith Animation holiday feature written by Richard Curtis, who adapted his own best-selling kids’ book series for the film. Nicole P. Hearon and Adam Tandy produce.
- Synopsis: That Christmas follows a series of entwined tales about love and loneliness, family and friends, and Santa Claus making a big mistake, not to mention an enormous number of turkeys!
- More info here.
Thelma the Unicorn – 2024
- Jared Hess and Lynn Wang direct with Pam Coats producing.
- Synopsis: Thelma is a small-time pony who dreams of becoming a glamourous music star. In a pink and glitter-filled moment of fate, Thelma is transformed into a unicorn and instantly rises to global stardom. But this new life of fame comes at a cost.
Ultraman – 2024
- The latest from Shannon Tindle (Lost Ollie), who co-wrote the script with Marc Haimes. John Aoshima co-directs with Tom Knott and Lisa Poole serving as producers. The film is produced by Tsuburaya Productions and Industrial Light and Magic.
- Synopsis: Based on the beloved Japanese character, Ultraman follows baseball superstar Ken Sato as he returns to his home country of Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman. He soon finds more than he bargained for when he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe. Ken must go on a heroic journey, balancing parenthood, his estranged father, and the relentless Kaiju Defense Force to rise beyond his ego and discover what it truly means to be Ultraman.
Pictured at top: Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie