Ron Howard Animated Movie ‘The Shrinking of the Treehorn’ Moves to Netflix

The animated feature film was previously in development at Paramount Pictures.

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The Shrinking of the Treehorn Ron Howard Netflix movie

Pictured: Ron Howard and cover to The Shrinking of Treehorn – Picture: Getty Images / Good Reads

Netflix has picked up The Shrinking of the Treehorn which was previously in development at Paramount Pictures. It continues to have Ron Howard attached as director and Rob Lieber attached as writer.

Jeff Sneider for The Ankler confirms the news that Netflix is taking the reigns of the animated movie that was first announced back in 2017. Two years later Ron Howard was attached to the project as director as well as the news that it was to be distributed by Paramount Animation.

For two years we didn’t hear much about the movie until Paramount in April 2021 announced the movie had shifted to release in theaters in November 2023. But that won’t be the case as we now know that Netflix, not Paramount, will be picking up distribution on the new animated movie.

In The Ankler’s piece, they describe the movie as “an animated musical set in New York City during the holidays.”

rob lieber ron howard

Pictured: Rob Lieber and Ron Howard

As mentioned, Ron Howard is on board to direct the movie which will be his directorial debut when it comes to an animated movie.

This will be the second major project Ron Howard has teamed up with Netflix on. He previously directed the movie adaptation of the J.D. Vance novel Hillbilly Elegy for Netflix which was released in 2020. He also served as a producer on last year’s Netflix movie tick, tick.. BOOM! and of course, featured as the Narrator on Arrested Development.

Rob Lieber continues to be on script duties. The writer and producer is perhaps best known for his work on Sony’s Peter Rabbit and Goosebumps 2: Sappy’s Revenge.

Imagine Entertainment, the production company headed up by Howard and Animal Logic headed up by Zareh Nalbandian continues to be attached to the animated feature film.

What’s The Shrinking of Treehorn about?

The movie will be based on the children’s book which recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary having released in 1971. It was written by Florence Parry Heide and illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Designed for ages between 4 and 8, here’s a rundown on what the book is about in case you’ve never read it:

“Treehorn is clearly shrinking, and his parents aren’t the least bit interested. His mother is obsessed with whether or not her cake will rise. His father, at one point addressing a son who can barely see over the table, states blindly, “Nobody shrinks.” Treehorn doesn’t seem all that bothered that his clothes are hanging over his extremities; he just feels someone should know. But the adults he tries to notify brush off his claim as either a ploy for attention or downright bad behavior.

Treehorn’s parents, his teacher, and his principal respond (or fail to respond) to his drastically diminishing stature in ways that will ring true to any kid who has tried to convince adults of the existence of fairies, the Loch Ness Monster, or things that go bump in the night.”

the shrinking of treehorn book

The Shrinking of Treehorn book cover

The move of The Shrinking of the Treehorn to Netflix continues the streamer’s list of acquisitions from external studios to feed its growing animation slate. It’s previously been reliant on the likes of Sony for its animation roster thus far with three pickups last year and K-Pop: Demon Hunters also eying a move to the service too.

Other animated Netflix movies in the upcoming animation slate includes My Father’s Dragon, The Sea Beast,  Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, and The Magician’s Elephant.

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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.