Netflix wants to overtake Disney in family-friendly animation

Over the Moon
(Image credit: Netflix)

When you think of Netflix originals, you probably think of bingeable series like The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and Cobra Kai, or critically acclaimed feature films like Marriage Story or Uncut Gems. However, that may change – Netflix is hoping to go full steam ahead with their family-friendly content. 

"It’s super-impressive what Disney has done," Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement regarding Disney’s success with Disney Plus. "It’s incredible execution for an incumbent to pivot … so that’s great. And it shows that members are interested and willing to pay more for more content because they’re hungry for great stories."

He added that Netflix was "very fired up about catching them in family animation – maybe eventually passing them, we’ll see, a long way to go just to catch them – and maintaining our lead in general entertainment that’s so stimulating."

The first title from the relatively new Netflix Animation brand was 2019’s Klaus, a Christmas movie featuring an A-list voice cast including Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, and Joan Cusack. This was followed shortly by The Willoughbys and Over the Moon in 2020. 

"We want to beat Disney in family animation," Hastings previously said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "That's going to take a while. I mean, they are really good at it. We're both very focused on building out our animation group and, you know, it's a friendly competition."

Upcoming features from Netflix Animation include the Australian-set musical Back to the Outback, Henry Selick's stop-motion comedy Wendell and Wild, and Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. While we wait, check out our list of the best family movies you can watch right now.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.