Two Netflix Animation films are being cancelled since layoffs and budget cuts are looming

Two Netflix Animation films are being cancelled since layoffs and budget cuts are looming

In 2022, Netflix’s animation division celebrated significant achievements, including winning the best animated feature award for Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” and receiving other accolades. However, the division is now facing substantial cutbacks, joining a growing list of animation departments grappling with layoffs and project cancellations.

According to Variety, Netflix is discontinuing two movies as part of its efforts to downsize the division. One of them is “Escape from Beverly Hills,” which had not been previously announced and will now return to the open market. The other is “Tunga,” a film based on Zimbabwe’s Shona culture, which will be returned to the development stage.

These reductions are part of an overarching strategy to streamline the division, although Netflix reportedly remains committed to maintaining a “robust slate,” as indicated in Variety’s report. The downsizing is anticipated to involve layoffs in the “coming weeks” as the streaming service seeks to delegate work to external producers. However, the exact number of layoffs has not been disclosed.

Netflix is not the sole studio that has scaled back its animation plans. Layoffs and project cancellations have raised concerns throughout the animation industry, exacerbated by apprehensions about the impact of AI technology. Over recent years, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, among other studios, have also curtailed their animation initiatives. Despite these cutbacks, animation continues to thrive in segments such as adult animation and anime.

This news comes on the heels of the announcement that Netflix has rescued “Star Trek: Prodigy,” reversing its cancellation after initially being renewed for a second season on Paramount+. Netflix is also gearing up for the release of “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget,” scheduled for October 14.

In our recent review of Netflix, we noted that while it was the originator of streaming services, it is facing challenges in maintaining its position as the premier streaming platform. Despite a strong library and popular original content, issues like rising subscription costs, content turnover, and user interface difficulties have led to Netflix being categorized as “Great” rather than “Excellent.” Nonetheless, Netflix continues to offer compelling entertainment and remains the go-to platform for many viewers, playing a pivotal role in shaping the streaming landscape we evaluate.

Explore the rest of our comprehensive coverage of the streaming industry as part of our recent “State of Streaming” series.

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