Is it “announce all the new animation” week at Netflix? Because we just learned that Kong Skull Island and the Tomb Raider games are getting anime series, and now Molly Ostertag’s best-selling YA graphic novel The Witch Boy joins these ever-growing ranks with an animated movie musical. You know… Disney style.
If you haven’t read the original 2017 comic (or its sequels), here’s the official synopsis:
In a secret, magical community where girls are born to be witches and boys grow into shapeshifters, Aster is surprised to discover his emerging and extraordinary witch powers. When a mysterious danger threatens his world, Aster must embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind himself, his powers, and everything that is magical.
Although Netflix is being irksomely if expectedly coy about it, The Witch Boy is also a pointedly inclusive story, one that shows the importance of LGBTQ acceptance. It’s clearly one of the things that drew director Munkyu Lee to the project. “The connection between this dream, my experiences, and Aster and Juniper’s story is what draws me to this film every day,” Lee said in a statement provided via press release. “I am grateful to be creating this with the wonderful team at Netflix. My hope is that this film, by celebrating queerness and ‘otherness’, will come to audiences around the world as something truly special.”
Oh, and the three-sister pop band Haim is listed as writing original music for the film, but whether that includes the story-based music that will be sung in the movie is unknown. I’d guess yes.
I love the idea of a traditional animated movie musical in the classic Disney mould that gives kids the fictional structure they love but with a firm message of celebrating ‘otherness’, as Lee put it. We’ll bring you more on The Witch Boy as and when we learn it.