DreamWorks Movie ‘Orion and the Dark’ Sets Netflix February 2024 Release Date

The new trailer and some new first looks dropped at Netflix's Geeked Week.

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orion and the dark netflix movie everything we know

Orion and the Dark – Pictures via Netflix

The second-ever DreamWorks Animation feature film to debut exclusively on Netflix has set a February 2024 release date. Orion and the Dark will premiere on February 2nd, and here’s an updated guide to everything we know so far.

As noted, this is the second time a DreamWorks Animation movie has gone exclusively to Netflix, with the first being Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, released in 2021.

Netflix’s relationship with DreamWorks has stretched now over a decade, with the TV division having created 100s of episodes for the streamer based on its vast collection of IP. In addition, Netflix in the US currently carries all DreamWorks theatrical movies within the first window.

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Orion and the Dark has been in development at DreamWorks Animation for the last couple of years, with the book first optioned by the acclaimed studio in the mid-2010s as early as 2015. It was first announced to be attached to Netflix during the DreamWorks panel at the Annecy Film Festival.

Here’s what you need to know about Orion and the Dark kicking off with the new trailer revealed at Geeked Week 2023:

Alongside the new trailer came a poster for the new movie and some brand new first looks.

orion and the dark poster netflix

Poster for Orion and the Dark


Who’s behind Orion and the Dark?

Industry veteran Sean Charmatz is directing the movie, who has worked on several projects throughout the years, but this marks his directorial debut. Previous projects Charmatz has worked on include The Lego Movie 2, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants, and Trolls.

Charlie Kaufman is behind the script for the new movie. Kaufman is best known for writing on critically acclaimed movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindBeing John Malkovich, and more recently for Netflix, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

director writer of netflix orion and the dark

Pictured: Sean Charmatz and Charlie Kaufman

Lloyd Taylor and Brandon Sawyer worked on additional screenplay material. Peter McCown serves as a producer on the project, with Walt Dohrn listed as an executive producer.

The animation for the film is being done by Mikros Animation’s studios in Paris and Bangalore.

CartoonBrew spoke to the creative team behind the movie at the Annecy Film Festival in a 22-minute-long interview:


What’s the story of Orion and the Dark?

The story is adapted from the best-selling 40-page picture book Orion and the Dark by author and illustrator Emma Yarlett published in May 2014. The author is also behind books like Nibbles, Dragon PostPoppy Pickle, and It’s Mine.

orion and the dark book cover

Book cover for Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett

Netflix has provided an official synopsis of the new animated feature film, which appears to be faithful to the book it’s based on:

“Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, Dark whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night.

As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life and finally embrace the joy of living.”

Dark and Orion in room R

Orion and the Dark Picture: DreamWorks Animation © 2023

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Picture: DreamWorks Animation © 2023

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Orion and the Dark – Cr: DreamWorks Animation © 2023

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Orion and the Dark – Cr: DreamWorks Animation © 2023

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Orion and the Dark – Cr: DreamWorks Animation © 2023


Who is in the voice cast for Orion and the Dark?

cast for netflix movie orion and the dark

Two actors have been lined up for the project thus far, voicing the two titular characters.

  • Jacob Tremblay , the Canadian actor who is best known for voicing and starring in tiles like WonderGood BoysLuca, and The Little Mermaid, will voice Orion.
  • Paul Walter Hauser will voice Dark in the movie. He’s best known for his role on Netflix’s Cobra Kai, starring as Raymond ‘Stingray’ Porter, plus starred in movies like I, TonyaBlacKkKlansman, and Richard Jewell.

Finally, Werner Herzog is confirmed to be lending his voice to the movie too.

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Orion and the Dark – Picture: DreamWorks Animation © 2023


Don’t forget that Netflix has more animation announcements to come out throughout the 2023 Annecy Film Festival. We’re getting updates on The Monkey King and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.

For more on the upcoming Netflix slate of animated movies coming in 2023 and 2024, check out our full guide here.

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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.

 Poster Rating: TV-Y7
Language: English
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Sean Charmatz
Cast: Carla Gugino, Paul Walter Hauser, Natasia Demetriou
Added to Netflix: February 2nd, 2024

Read Our Review for Orion and the Dark View Viewing Statistics