Canceled Netflix Original Animation Projects (And Ones That Got Saved)

The length of this list of canceled projects is quite shocking and probably doesn't scratch the surface!

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Canceled Netflix Original Animated Projects

Picture: What’s on Netflix

Cancellations are a sad fact of life within the entertainment business. Projects can be canceled at various stages of development for many reasons. 

Below, we’ll list all the animated projects canceled during the early development or production stage. That means cancelations of Agent King won’t be listed below.

There have been many articles about Netflix’s Animation troubles over the years. The Wrap notably wrote an extensive profile piece in April 2022 detailing many of the streamer’s cutbacks in the space.

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Despite these cancelations below, Netflix is still heavily invested in animation, with a slew of animated movies continuing to be in the works and new series aimed at both young and old.


Canceled Netflix Original Animation Movies

Cattywumpus

Gore Verbinski was developing an animated movie about outer space felines at Netflix, but the project was ultimately axed in September 2022. Verbinski is best known for Rango, which starred Johnny Depp.


Ember

ember netflix animated movie

Picture: Netflix

Announced among a slate of other animated titles coming out of Europe back in June 2022, Ember would see Netflix reteaming with creator Sergio Pablos, who was behind Netflix’s hit movie Klaus.

The film was described as an epic adventure tale of humankind’s quest for fire told through the eyes of young Dikika, who embarks on an impossible race to a distant volcano to retrieve the precious spark that will save her tribe.

The project was announced to be scrapped at Netflix in December 2022.


Escape From Beverly Hills

Not much is known about this project. We were told about it in early 2023 and were waiting to hear back from Netflix about it more, but in October 2023, Variety announced that the project had been scrapped. Our understanding is that Noah Baumbach and Scarlett Johansson were attached.


Escape from Hat

escape from hat netflix movie

Book cover by Adam Kline

Initially announced in 2018, this animated project came from creatives Mark Osborne and Adam Kline (who will feature again in this article) with the project based on the book by Kline and Brian Taylor.

We learned that the development of the movie ceased in 2022.


I, Chihuahua

I Chihuahua Netflix

Picture: Netflix

One of two projects from Jorge R. Gutiérrez on this list is I, Chihuahua, which was first announced in March 2022 with Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias attached to voice and produce. Best known for his work on Maya and the Three, this new


Pashmina

Pashmina Netflix Canceled Movie

Picture: Nidhi Chanani

First announced by Netflix in March 2019, Nidhi Chanani’s graphic novel was set to become an animated feature at Netflix. Gurinder Chadha will write and direct the project. The story premise is about an Indian-American girl who rediscovers her heritage through her magical pashmina.

Nestled in an interview with Deadline in December 2022, Chadha revealed to the outlet that the movie was no longer moving forward.


TREES! 

Dan Lin, now chairman of Netflix Film, had several projects in the works at Netflix at his old company Rideback, including an animated movie called Trees!, which was being written by Jennifer Celotta. Sadly, we’ve heard that it’s no longer moving forward.


Tunga

It was in February 2019 when it was first announced that Tunga was in the works at Netflix with the film set to be a musical animated feature from Zimbabwe-born Godwin Jabangwe and rooted in the mythology of the Shona culture and has been sent back into development.

Variety announced that the project had been scrapped in October 2023.


Untitled Gorillaz Film

Gorillaz Canceled Animated Project

Picture: Gorillaz.com

The music band Gorillaz was due to get a feature film on Netflix. It was first announced in development in 2020 and tied to Netflix in 2021. Not much was known about the project, but in early 2023, founder and singer Damon Albarn announced that the project was no longer moving forward at the streamer.


Canceled Netflix Original Animation Series

Antiracist Baby 

Antiracist Baby Netflix

Picture: Ibram X. Kendi

In May 2022, it was announced that Netflix had canceled several animated series for creative reasons, including an adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book of the same name. Kendi’s other adaptation at Netflix, the hybrid documentary Stamped from the Beginning, would be released in late 2023 without much fanfare.


Bad Crimes

Mike Judge and Greg Daniels were teaming up for a new adult-animated series set to feature the talents of Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus, who were set to play a pair of FBI agents who travel across the country to solve murders.

The Wrap reported in October 2022 that the project had been quietly scuppered.


Bone

Bone Canceled Netflix Series Jeff Smith

Picture: Jeff Smith

The classic comic series from Jeff Smith was in line for another attempt at getting onto our screens via Netflix after numerous attempts had tried and failed over the years. Sadly, Netflix’s iteration never came to fruition either, with the project being axed.


Boons and Curses

Boons And Curses Cancelation Netflix

Picture: Netflix

The Jaydeep Hasrajani series, which focused on a young cursed warrior who was tasked with taking on an evil ruler, was announced to be canceled in spring 2022.

Jake Goldman was a co-executive producer on the project, with Michael A. Reagan boarded as a composer. The team behind the show was reportedly about to ship the first episode to Netflix before getting word that the show had been canceled.


Dino Daycare

One of the enormous talents Netflix drew away from Disney was Chris Nee, best known for the Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins. While Nee did produce several shows for Netflix, the relationship turned sour towards the end with the arrival of many of her shows in large batches without much fanfare, and one of her shows, Dino Daycare, was scrapped entirely before release in Spring 2022.

Dino Daycare, which would’ve featured the voice of Yvette Nicole Brown, was set in a world where dinosaurs never went extinct. Guru Studio were working on the project.


Kung-Fu Space Punch

kung fu space punch netflix

Picture: Jorge R. Gutierrez

Set to serve as a sequel series to Maya and the Three, the creator behind the space western show confirmed in May 2022 that the show was no longer moving forward at Netflix Animation, and since then, it’s unclear whether the project has been set up elsewhere.


Pearl

Amanda Rynda was behind this new animated series, Archewell Productions, which was being produced under the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry banner. Naturally, it received a lot of press attention, particularly from British outlets.

As part of the 2022 cull of animated series, Pearl was announced to be one of them.


Toil and Trouble

Toil And Trouble Netflix Canceled Series

Concept art for Toil and Trouble

In the big piece from The Wrap, it was announced that Lauren Faust had been developing a new animated series that would follow the story of Smudge and Jinx, two best friends who happen to be a young witch and her cat who set out to the Victorian-era Kingdom of Prosprira to seek their fortune.

Following up on the piece, Faust on X gave hope that the project may be revived elsewhere, saying, “If any consolation, I’ve RETAINED THE RIGHTS to all my pre-Netflix T&T material, which were ample, & have hope it can still live another day. And that perhaps we can get the band back together to share our new take on the world of witches and familiars wrapped up in heartfelt, magic, comedy adventure about female friendship. Wish us luck!”


Canceled Netflix Animation Projects That Found New Homes

Thankfully, some of Netflix’s projects have gone on to find new homes following their cancellations. Below, we’ve included a list of those.

Ghee Happy

Ghee Happy

The series from Oscar-nominated director Sanjay Patel was initially intended to be released on Netflix, but the streamer quietly ditched plans to release it.

However, the project wasn’t nixed entirely, with the team behind the show opting to put the series out via full episodes and clips on the Ghee Happy Studio YouTube channel.


High in the Clouds

high in the clouds movie no longer at netflix

Picture: Guamont

First attached to Netflix in December 2019, High in the Clouds returned to being an independent movie in July 2023.

Paul McCartney is heavily involved with this project based on the Beatles star’ novel. The film is set to follow a squirrel who embarks on a journey to find an animal sanctuary, with Toby Genkel directing.


Raise the Bar!

Raise The Bar Canceled Netflix

Per a report from BleedingCool, for a while, there was going to be an animated series originating from Chile with Fernanda Frick helming the project. According to their report, the project was dropped from the Netflix roster in early 2020 but has since lived on in the form of graphic novels/comic books.


Wings of Fire

wings of fire netflix series

Picture: GoodReads

There’s a bit of an asterisk on this one. It’s not quite a true revival because a different and creative team is ultimately working on it. As you may know, Netflix was working on a big animated series based on the beloved Tui T. Sutherland novel.

In early 2024, it was announced the project had been set up at Prime Video with a new creative team and without the involvement of Warner Bros. Television, which was behind Netflix’s iteration alongside Ava DuVernay.


There are a few titles with question marks around them. The Witch Boy reportedly lost its director, Minkyu Lee, and since then, we’ve heard nothing about the movie. A few people in their bios still list it as an active project, but we’ve heard nothing since. One website also lists The Goon, the Tim Miller animated movie rescued by Netflix, as inactive.

Which of these animated titles are you most disappointed will not see the light of day on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by

Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.