'Orion and the Dark,' 'Leo,' 'Ultraman' 'Orion and the Dark,' 'Leo,' 'Ultraman'

We’re right in the middle of Netflix’s annual fandom-focused marketing event Geeked Week, and the streamer made several major animation-related announcements today while sharing new footage from four upcoming titles.

In addition to details and footage from upcoming features Orion and the Dark, Ultraman: Rising, and Leo, the streamer announced a new animated series from Dreamworks Animation, Jurassic World: Chaos Theory.

Details on all four titles can be found below.

Orion and the Dark

What’s New? Netflix shared the first trailer for this exciting project and revealed that it will hit the platform on February 2, 2024. Netflix also released a new poster and several stills, seen below.

Production Details: Based on the book of the same name by on the book by Emma Yarlett, this film is written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and directed by Sean Charmatz (story artist, Spongebob Squarepants; head of story, The Angry Birds Movie 2), Orion and the Dark, the films is being produced by Dreamworks Animation and will be released exclusively on Netflix in a first-of-its-kind deal between the two companies. The film was announced at Annecy in June, where we caught up with Charmatz and some of the film’s crew, who gave us the scoop on the new film.

Synopsis: Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, Dark whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night. As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life and finally embrace the joy of living.

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Ultraman: Rising

What’s New? This is the first teaser for Ultraman: Rising and comes with new voice cast details. Contributing voice actors include Christopher Sean, Gedde Watanabe, Tamlyn Tomita Keone Young, and Julia Harriman. Netflix also released four new stills, seen below.

Production Details: Ultraman: Rising is directed by Shannon Tindle (Lost Ollie, Kubo and the Two Strings), who co-wrote with Marc Haimes (), and co-directed by John Aoshima (DuckTales, Gravity Falls). It’s produced by Netflix Animation, Industrial Light & Magic, and Tsuburaya Productions.

Logline: When baseball superstar Ken Sato returns home to Japan to pick up the mantle of Earth-defending superhero Ultraman, he quickly finds more than he bargained for as he’s forced to raise the offspring of his greatest foe.

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Jurassic World: Chaos Theory

What’s New? Everything. This series was unveiled today with a brief teaser. The show will begin streaming sometime in 2024.

Production Details: Produced by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment with animation from Dreamworks Animation, Jurassic World: Chaos Theory is showrun and executive produced by Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous producers Scott Kreamer and Aaron Hammersley. Other executive producers include Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow, and Frank Marshall.

Logline: Netflix hasn’t released a synopsis for this one yet, so all we’ve got is the short teaser and a logline that reads: “After the park has closed, after the kingdom has fallen, a new era of chaos begins…”

'Jurassic World: Chaos Theory'

What’s New? Leo’s Netflix debut is just around the corner, November 21, and the film will get 300 free screenings in 150 U.S. theaters this Saturday and Sunday, so we already know a lot about the film. Netflix did release a new clip for Geeked Week, though, which gives us our best look yet at the titular lizard, voiced by Adam Sandler in action.

Production Details: Leo features animation by Animal Logic (The Lego Movie, DC League of Super-Pets), acquired by Netflix last year. It’s directed by Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti, and David Wachtenheim, all long-time Sandler collaborators. Smigel, also the creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, was a co-writer on Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, with Marianetti and Wachtenheim as heads of story on the latter. All three worked on Saturday Night Live’s popular animated “TV Funhouse” segments in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Leo is produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions.

Synopsis: This coming-of-age animated musical comedy is 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…

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