Netflix Animation Shares First Looks at ‘Wallace & Gromit’ and Zack Snyder’s ‘Twilight of the Gods’

Netflix Animation held its first slate preview event June 6 at the Tudum in L.A., as a lead-up to the Annecy Animation Festival (June 9-15), where it will premiere Shannon Tindle’s “Ultraman: Rising” (streaming June 14) and tout some of its upcoming works in 2024 and 2025.

Hosted by Christopher Sean (the voice star of “Ultraman: Rising”), attendees were treated to exclusive presentations, previews, and special announcements. The biggest announcement was the full title of Aardman’s next stop-motion feature, “Wallace & Gromit: Vengeance Most Fowl,” which will have an Oscar-qualifying run this winter before streaming in 2025.

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Directed by franchise creator Nick Park and creative director Merlin Crossingham, who offered a pre-recorded introduction, “Vengeance Most Fowl” marks the return of the villainous penguin, Feathers McGraw, from the Oscar-winning short “The Wrong Trousers.” The film is a cautionary tale of high-tech gone wrong involving an out-of-control “smart gnome” with a mind of its own.

Meanwhile, the most prestigious presentation was an exclusive teaser from Zack Snyder’s highly-anticipated 2D-animated adult series, “Twilight of the Gods” (streaming in the fall). Based on Norse mythology, it’s a violent and gory actioner from Xilam Animation (“I Lost My Body”), which looks like a cross between “300” and Cartoon Saloon (“Wolfwalkers”) on acid. It’s an action-adventure set against the love story between Sigrid (Sylvia Hoeks) and Leif (Stuart Martin), whose wedding day is tragically destroyed by Thor (Pilou Asbæk), causing her to go on a vengeful rampage.

Snyder told IndieWire that it was fun making an R-rated animated series across such a massive landscape and that he was most intrigued by the relationship between Sigrid and Leif, which took him a year to develop. “It goes from icy cold to emotional, and her vengeance really tests their love,” he said. Snyder also revealed that they originally considered 3D animation, but 2D offered greater graphic possibilities and played to the strength of Xilam. “But the artists were working on so many different styles that it took time to make it [blend] together.”

'Twilight of the Gods,' Zack Snyder
‘Twilight of the Gods’COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Footage screened on the feature side included the sweet-looking Oscar hopeful “That Christmas”(December), the Santa story that chronicles the holiday as “an emotional magnifying glass,” from Locksmith Animation in London, written by Richard Curtis (“Notting Hill”) and directed by “How to Train Your Dragon” animation vet Simon Otto; Skydance Animation’s “Spellbound” (November 22), the musical comedy about the young daughter (Rachel Zegler) of rulers transformed into monsters, directed by Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”), with score and songs by Alan Menken; “The Twits” (2025), the Roald Dahl-adapted comedy about a cruel, prankster couple, directed by “Zootopia” scribe Phil Johnston; “In Your Dreams” (2025), about two fighting siblings on a quest to find the Sandman, from Kuku Studios; Skydance Animation’s “Pookoo” (2025), body-switching comedy with two woodland creatures,directed by Nathan Greno (“Tangled”); and “K-Pop: Demon Hunters” (2025), a musical action-adventure from Sony Pictures Animation, about a popular K-Pop girl group that leads a dangerous secret life, directed by Maggie Kang and Chris Appelhans.

Not surprisingly, the highlight among the series sneak peeks was Season 2 of the Emmy-winning “Arcane: League of Legends” (November), which continues to boast exquisitely illustrative animation from Paris-based Fortiche. It dramatically raises the tension between badass sisters Jinx (Ella Purnell) and Vi (Hailee Steinfeld).

Two other shows touted were “Jentry Chau vs. the Underworld” (2024), the 2D-animated supernatural series from creator Echo Wu and Titmouse, and “Terminator Zero” (August 29 ), the adult sci-fi anime series set in the “Terminator” universe from Production I.G. and Skydance TV. Timothy Olyphant will voice the Terminator.

The biggest new film announcement was “Plankton: The Movie” (2025), the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” spin-off, directed by Dave Needham.

New series announcements included: “Motel Transylvania” (2025), a spin-off of “Hotel Transylvania” from Sony Pictures Animation, about a motel startup in the California desert; “Ghostbusters,” executive produced by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan, also from SPA; “Stranger Things” (in development); “Minecraft,” a new spin on the video game with Mojang Studios and animated by Wild Brain (TBA); and “Leviathan,” an anime series based on the graphic novel by Scott Westerfeld and illustrated by Keith Thompson, executive produced by Justin Leach and Taiki Sakurai, directed by Christophe Ferreira (2025).

In addition, Netflix gave a summer date for “Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie” (August 2), in which Sandy Cheeks and SpongeBob journey to Texas to save the town from a villainous plot, directed by Liza Johnson.

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