Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

DreamWorks Animation feels the fantasy

A stroke of kismet and a wide-demo kids IP—Peter Gal explains the interesting origin of DWA Television’s new Netflix series Kipo & the Age of Wonderbeasts.
June 13, 2019

DreamWorks Animation has unveiled its new Netflix original series, Kipo & the Age of Wonderbeasts at Annecy Animation Festival in France today. Set to debut in 2020, it’s about a young girl named Kipo who embarks on an adventure after spending her entire life underground due to the apocalypse.

The hand-drawn 2D-animated series is executive produced and created by Radford Sechrist (How to Train Your Dragon 2), and is executive produced and developed for television by Bill Wolkoff (Once Upon a Time). Karen Fukuhara (She-Ra and the Princess of Power) stars as the voice of Kipo.

“As we’re building our original development slate we’re looking around the world for artists and concepts we find exciting,” says Peter Gal, CCO of DreamWorks Animation Television. “We found this online comic that was being published by Rad Sechrist and we fell in love with it. We really responded to it on a gut level, so we tracked him down and it turned out he worked at DreamWorks.”

When the company pitched the project to Netflix, as part of its ongoing multi-year agreement to produce animated kids and family programming, the streamer responded to the project with the same level of enthusiasm.

“A lot of times it’s about that one person who sees what’s so special in a project, and we also think it will find a broad audience there,” says Gal.

In addition to appealing to kids and families, Gal anticipates the show will resonate with fantasy and sci-fi fans of all ages.

News of Kipo & the Age of Wonderbeasts comes just one week after DreamWorks Animation announced it would produce the new animated action-adventure series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous for the SVOD. The show, which is set within the same world as the 2015 Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment film Jurassic World, is also set to launch in 2020.

The company has also revealed new details about its Fast & Furious series, which is set to debut globally on Netflix later this year. Fast & Furious: Spy Racers will star Tony Toretto as he follows in his cousin Dom’s footsteps to infiltrate an elite racing league connected to a crime organization. Tim Hedrick (Voltron Legendary Defender) and Bret Haaland (All Hail King Julien) will serve as executive producers and showrunners.

Moving forward, Gal says DreamWorks will continue to broaden the focus for its original development slate.

“We have no house style and we also are steadily expanding the ages we’re trying to speak to,” he says. “We’ll probably be taking out our first adult animated pitch in the not-too-distant future. We’re really trying to play in every space.”

Additionally, the company previewed its upcoming films Abominable and Trolls World Tour. A co-production with Shanghai-based Pearl Studio, Abominable is set to premiere in September and follows the adventures of a young girl as she travels across China to help a yeti return home. Trolls World Tour, meanwhile, is scheduled to bow in the US in April 2020 and will serve as a sequel to 2016′s Trolls.


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