VFX Netflix Animation eliminates 70 jos, drops three projects -

Netflix Animation eliminates 70 jos, drops three projects

Netflix has eliminated 70 positions at its animation studio, although the streamer said that none of those affected were full-time Netflix employees. The cuts were part of a larger set of cost-cutting measures which also saw the streamer lay off 150 full-time employees, mostly based in the U.S. According to a report by Variety, the studio has also canned several animated projects.

It is not known what will happen to the impacted animation employees, who were not full-time employees according to the streamer. However, the 150 full-time employees who lose their jobs are expected to receive severance packages starting at four months, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Conditions may vary however, with severance packages based on each individual staffer’s position and how long they’ve been with Netflix.

Titles which Netflix has confirmed have been dropped include Ava DuVernay’s Wings of Fire adaptation, preschool series Antiracist Baby, and With Kind Regards From Kindergarten. These drops are in addition to five other cuts which Netflix confirmed it had already made as of 3 May. Here are some details about the project cuts announced this week:

  • Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Wings on Fire was based on the middle-grade fantasy book series of the same name by Tui T. Sutherland. Dan Milano (co-creator, Glitch Techs), Christa Starr (producer, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return), and Justin Ridge (supervising director/executive producer, Star Wars Resistance) were lined up as showrunners.
  • Adapted from a kids book by the same name from scholar Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Antiracist Baby was pitched as a series of animated vignettes set to music for preschoolers.
  • With Kind Regards from Kindergarten had not previously been announced, but would have adapted Adam Kline’s popular kids book about a girl with a big imagination who is afraid of going to kindergarten.

Netflix has faced scrutiny in the first half of 2022 after a disastrous Q1 earnings report. The streamer lost subscribers globally for the first time in a decade, its stock plummeted, and stories about dead and dying projects began leaking, some dating back to months before. In response, Netflix executives proposed new regulations against password sharing, the possibility of ad-supported subscriptions, and cutbacks to spending growth. There are also rumours circulating that Netflix is thinking about giving theatrical releases to more of its high-profile features, including a theatrical window of exclusivity.

For Netflix, the past few weeks have been unprecedented, but probably inevitable. Subscriber growth is finite, and in many major territories competing streaming platforms from major studios continue to pop up. It’s worth noting that any major animation studio regularly has numerous projects in development at any given time. Most are unceremoniously dropped without a public word. It should also be noted that the company is still profitable. Netflix posted $1.6 billion in profit over the first quarter of 2022, from $7.8 billion in sales. Those sales were up nearly 10% from the same period the year before.