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The Sea Beast, My Father's Dragon Blade Runner: Black Lotus and More

There's never a dull moment in the world of animation streaming television. Join us once again for a round-up of the latest news and developments.

There's an awful lot of animation headed to Netflix, but animation is not exactly well represented in their brand new 2022 movie preview video (despite it being consistently some of their most successful content). We get the briefest of looks at the eagerly anticipated stop-motion films Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio and Henery Selick's Wendell and Wild, but its nothing we had not already seen. The one animated feature we do get our first footage from is The Sea Beast, the animated feature written and directed by former Walt Disney Animation Studios filmmaker Chris Williams. The director of Big Hero 6 and co-director of Moana, Williams was quite a coup for Netflix's then-fledgling feature animation department.

In the few seconds of footage here, we get to see an impressive looking sea monster of the title attacking a ship. The film was originally titled Jacob and The Sea Beast, and is described as following the epic story of "a charming seafarer who sails into uncharted waters and discovers an unlikely ally in a sea monster. " Netflix has yet to confirm a precise release date, but the fact it's featured in this video confirms it will arrive at some time during 2022. They also released the first still from the film (below).

Netflix also released an accompanying press release which included other titles due out this year not featured in the video.  Most excitingly of all, this included My Father's Dragon the latest film from Cartoon Saloon directed by The Breadwinner's Nora Twomey. Based on the much-loved book of the same name from author Ruth Stiles Gannett, with a screenplay by Inside Out writer Meg LeFauve. The story follows a young boy named Elmer who runs away from his new home in search of Wild Island and a young dragon who is waiting to be rescued. The film's precise release date is to be confirmed. The lack of any footage or even stills released at this point suggests that it will probably release closer to the end of the year than the beginning.

Director Richard Linklater's return to rotoscoped animation Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood is a whole world away from his earlier films Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. The film follows the first moon landing in 1969 through two perspectives- NASA's and through the eyes of a starry-eyed kid growing up in Houston, Texas. The film is described as "part coming of age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure" and is inspired by Linklater's own childhood.

They also tease a number of Japanese animated features. Due on April 28,  Bubble comes from Wit Studio and is directed by Tetsuro Araki (Attack On Titan) and written by the acclaimed anime screenwriter Gen Urobuchi.  The plot sounds endearingly wacky:

The story is set in Tokyo, after bubbles that broke the laws of gravity rained down upon the world. Cut off from the outside world, Tokyo has become a playground for a group of young people who have lost their families, acting as a battlefield for parkour team battles as they leap from building to building. Hibiki, a young ace known for his dangerous play style, makes a reckless move one day and plummets into the gravity-bending sea. His life is saved by Uta, a girl with mysterious powers who appears suddenly. The pair then hear a unique sound audible only to them. Why did Uta appear before Hibiki? Their encounter leads to a revelation that will change the world.

Coming sometime later in 2022 is the first part of a two-film spin-off from the popular Seven Deadly Sins anime series.  The Grudge Of Edinburgh Part One is an original story written by original manga creator Nakaba Suzuki featuring the son of the protagonists of the original series.

Last but not least, Drifting Home comes from Studio Colorido (A Whisker Away) and director Hiroyasu Ishida (Penguin Highway). The film follows two children who find themselves mysteriously cast out to sea on a floating housing complex.

Netflix has been more generous for fans who are largely anticipating the video game adaptation The Cuphead Show. Following the recent release of the full series trailer and release date reveal, they have followed it up with a new preview clip.

In 'Party In the Underworld' the Devil decides he deserves a party to celebrate 'how well he's running the whole operation'.  The Cuphead Show will stream on Netflix from February 18.

Crunchyroll and Adult Swim have released a new special preview clip of Blade Runner: Black Lotus ahead of the season finale this weekend. Episode 13 is set to air on Adult Swim in the US and stream on Crunchyroll from 9 PM Pacific on Saturday, February 5. They tease the episode: "Elle has fought her way to the top of the old Tyrell headquarters and is face-to-face with her creator at last. Will Black Lotus find the answers she is seeking? Or will she fall to her mysterious replacement, Water Lily?". Take a sneak peek at the final episode, below,