While Netflix develops an adaptation of his iconic game Dragon’s Lair, Don Bluth, 82, is looking ahead to future projects. The animation legend behind The Secret of NIMH and The Land Before Time has launched a new venture, Don Bluth Studios, with the express goal to create “new characters, new ideas, and new cartoons.”
The announcement was published on the studio’s Facebook page. “We believe the public is craving another renaissance of hand-drawn animation,” it continues. “Our goal is to make that dream become a reality.”
One of its first projects is Bluth Fables, which is based on “multiple short stories similar to nursery rhymes and Aesop fables” written by Bluth himself. This and other ideas are fleshed out in a number of live streams hosted by the studio, which have since been uploaded to Youtube:
These live streams are indicative of Don Bluth Studios’s approach to development. “Our company will be VERY transparent,” it states, “showcasing and updating the public with concept art, pencil tests, model sheets, animatics, and much much more. We are excited to show everyone what we have been working on. Please join us in our new adventure!”
The studio has appointed animator Lavalle Lee as vice president. Lee first started studying with Bluth in 2009, and is the man behind several blogs and websites including Traditional Animation, a resource on all things hand-drawn animation. He was a project leader at Bluth’s previous venture Don Bluth Films, in which capacity he helped spearhead a crowdfunding campaign for a feature adaptation of Dragon’s Lair (a 1980s game franchise co-created by Bluth).
The campaign resulted in a pitch presentation in 2017. Last March, it was revealed that Netflix had picked up the rights to the game and is developing a feature — in live action.