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Netflix News: Asterix CG Series, Terminator Animated Series, Shaman King and More

As this year's Annie Award nominations show clearly Netflix is now one of the biggest cheeses in animation. The streaming juggernaut can't seem to stop announcing new series. Here are their big animation announcements from the last few days

Asterix The Gaul is probably France's most iconic comic book characters and has enjoyed great popularity worldwide- particularly in French-speaking countries. Both the original comics and the animated films adapted from them have been translated into dozens of languages, including English. Although popular in the UK, Australia and Canada they never really made much of an impact in the United States. Now the character will be introduced to a whole new global audience as Netflix has announced that they are producing a new animated adaptation.

Created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Underzo in 1959, the stories take place in the time of the Roman Empire, mostly in Gaul (the ancient name for France). Asterix's village is the only one in Gaul that has kept the Romans at bay, thanks to a magic potion that grants the residents super-strength. The books have been adapted into a series of animated features starting in 1967, and most recently in two CGI animated features released in 2014 and 2018. The new adaptation however will be in the form of a limited series, based on the original comic 'album' Asterix and The Big Fight.

The CG adaptations were praised for capturing the style of the comics extremely well, so it's unsurprising that the new series will also be CG animated. The series is to be directed by Alain Chabat, a renowned filmmaker, actor and playwright, who previously wrote and directed the live-action adaptation Asterix: Mission Cleopatra (the character's most popular screen outing so far). This will be his first foray into animation.  The series will debut in 2023.

The playful, pun-filled antics of Asterix and his friends could hardly be more different than Netflix's other new major animation announcement. One of Sci-fi's most iconic franchises is returning- and this time it's animated. Netflix is partnering with Skydance and anime studio Production IG to produce a new animated series based on The Terminator. Well, he did say he'd be back.

Mattson Tomlin, (who wrote Project Power and is a screenwriter on the upcoming Matt Reeves directed The Batman) has signed on as showrunner and executive producer, promising a take on the Terminator "that breaks conventions, subverts expectations and has real guts." Certainly, the franchise could do with a shake-up as the last three movies have all tried and failed to reboot the series. Can Tomlin make The Terminator relevant again?

John Derderian, Netflix's Vice President of Japan & Anime says "The new animated series will explore this universe in a way that has never been done before. We can’t wait for fans to experience this amazing new chapter in the epic battle between machines and humans." No release frame has been announced yet.

More friendly robots are also on the way to Netflix. The streamer is partnering with Hasbro and their entertainment studio eOne on a new series based on the Transformers BotBot toyline. A world away from the currently ongoing War For Cybertron series, this will be another younger-skewing series, in the vein of Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy.  Bots Academy veterans Kevin Burke and Chris “Doc” Wyatt will roll out as showrunners and EPs. 

The 20-episode series will feature the 'mischievous' BotBots who transform into everyday objects in a shopping mall.

Netflix and eOne have also announced that a new feature and series based on My Little Pony is on the way. Friendship Is Magic came to an end (much to the dismay of the Bronies) but is set to be replaced with the new G5 series, which will take the toy franchise into CG for the first time. The new generation will kick off with a new movie- originally slated for cinemas but now coming to Netflix this Autumn. A TV series is set to follow.


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