That Christmas

Netflix builds out its animation slate with films and Christmas projects

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol and That Christmas headline the streamer's upcoming European lineup to keep families warm and toasty at home during the holidays.
June 9, 2022

Netflix has announced eight new European projects joining its animation slate this year, and they’ll all be showcased at Annecy next week.

To get viewers into the Christmas spirit (literally!) this December, British prodco Timeless Films is producing the CG-animated film Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. Directed by Stephen Donnelly and featuring a new score from late composer Leslie Bricusse, this reimagining of the classic Charles Dickens tale sees the lonely soul of Ebenezer Scrooge once again confront his past as he looks to build a better future. 

Also set to debut in time for the holidays is London-based Locksmith Animation’s That Christmas (pictured), a CG-animated feature based on a same-name children’s book by author Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral). The film is directed by Simon Otto (How to Train Your Dragon trilogy) and showcases the perspectives of multiple families, neighbors and even Santa in the run-up to Christmas Day. 

Elsewhere, Spain’s The SPA Studios is developing Ember, a 2D-animated adventure movie that retells humankind’s quest for fire. Young protagonist Dikika embarks on a race to a volcano to retrieve the flame that will help save her tribe. SPA co-founder Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me and Klaus) is directing the project. 

Meanwhile, French animation studio Superprod and Wallace & Gromit alum Steve Box have partnered up to produce an animated comedy heist movie. The untitled project will see a gang of stray cats disguise themselves as pampered suburban pets to pull off the biggest robbery of their lives.

On the series side of things, Netflix has greenlit three original animated projects:  Bad Dinosaurs from the UK’s Sanfu Pictures and Spain’s Able & Baker; Mermaid Magic from Italian animation studio Rainbow; and The Seven Bears from French film producer Folivari. 

Lastly, Sony Pictures Animation is developing a new Ghostbusters animated series for the streamer. Plot details are still under wraps, but the project will be executive produced by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan, who recently co-wrote the latest live-action film in the franchise Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Netflix’s Euro-heavy film pipeline reflects new quotas set by the European Commission requiring that at least 30% of the content available on all global streamers operating in Europe be domestically produced. A recent report from Ampere Analysis shows that Netflix has met or exceeded this threshold in major European markets.  


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