DreamWorks Animation and Netflix have teamed up to release Orion and the Darkness, a new animated film that is making waves on the platform. Directed by Sean Charmatz and with a script by Charlie Kaufman, the film is based on the children’s book of the same name written by Emma Yarlett.
The synopsis of the feature film reads: “Orion, a boy with a great imagination, faces his fears on an unforgettable night trip with his new friend: Darkness, a giant, smiling creature.”
The cast that gave voice to the characters is led by Jacob Tremblay, Colin Hanks, Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett, Ike Barinholtz, Natasia Demetriou, Golda Rosheuvel, Nat Faxon, Aparna Nancherla, and Carla Gugino.
Orion and the Darkness received positive reviews from the specialized press. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote: “It is a tender little tale, indebted to Monsters Inc. and the entire Pixar canon, which is saved from being predictable thanks to other influences, as well as its various levels of metafictional narratives.” The Hollywood Reporter commented that “Sean Charmatz masterfully maintains the pace of the film. The imaginative character designs and colorful computer animation give the film the look of an endearing illustrated children’s book. Variety wondered: “What if DreamWorks trusted the author of Anomalisa to make a movie childhood about overcoming fear of the dark? The result is as crazy as you’d expect, but also clumsily trite. Decider agreed, noting that “it could be more original and better written, but it’s nice to look at, and offers a good, thought-provoking story.” Finally, The Times criticized the film and stated that it is “dispensable and boring; It marks a rare misstep for Netflix Animation.”
Overall, Orion and the Darkness is a film that has received mixed reviews, but it is definitely worth a watch to form your own opinion. Check out the trailer for Orion and the Darkness below and see for yourself what all the buzz is about.
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