Netflix has owned the market on streaming adult animation, but Amazon is putting their first foot into the ring.
Netflix has been dominating adult animation ever since Bojack Horseman galloped (I couldn’t help myself) onto the platform. Since that show’s premiere four years ago, the streaming service has flexed its muscle with acquisitions of popular IPs like Voltron, Castlevania, Big Mouth, F Is For Family, and the upcoming onslaught of Tiffany Haddish’s Tuca & Bertie. There’s no sign of stopping. Heck, they’ve got $8 billion to spend on content in 2018. Who can compete with that?
The only answer to that question is Amazon. They’re looking to fight dirty, too. The Hollywood Reporter has word that the company will be partnering with Bojack Horseman (and Tuca & Bertie) creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company to produce a new half hour sci-fi dramedy entitled Undone.
The new series is currently in production and looking to premiere on Amazon Prime Video sometime next year. Described as exploring “the elastic nature of reality,” Undone will revolve around the character of Alma after she’s experienced a horrendous car accident. While recovering from near-death, our young hero learns that she experiences time differently than others, and this will allow her to investigate the mysterious death of her father.
Voicing Alma is Rosa Salazar, who we last saw battling the YA sub-genre in The Maze Runner trilogy. She also just wrapped on Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, starring as the title character. She will be joined on Undone by Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces) playing her younger sister. The Dutch artist Hisko Hulsing leads the design team and directs the animators in the Netherlands.
Expressing great enthusiasm for Hulsing’s animation style to The Hollywood Reporter, Bob-Waksberg stated:
“Hisko’s beautiful artwork and masterful use of light and color will create a look never seen before on a television show that will make audiences lose their minds.”
Hulsing’s virtuosity helped bring Kurt Cobain’s artwork to life in the documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (see the header image and the video below). His work has a fluid, rhythmic style that could easily accentuate the bending of time that Undone looks to accomplish. Imagine his oils blending into each other, resulting in the creation of a rip in the frame, and space/time itself. This head trip of sci-fi will be realized by his Amsterdam-based studio, Submarine, alongside the Austin-based Minnow Mountain. Undone looks to separate itself drastically from the oddball beauty of Lisa Hanawalt’s Bojack Horseman landscape. At least stylistically, Undone will look unlike anything on the competing service.
We will have to wait and see if this is just the beginning of an animation overload for Amazon. They’re no strangers to jumping onto success, already looking to pick up Game of Throne’s rule over fantasy with their own adaptations of the Lord of the Rings and Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. They’re aping the appeal of Black Mirror with Electric Dreams, and every day they add a new channel to their subscription chain. Fifty years from now, we can probably expect a great franchise war between Amazon and Netflix. I hope it’s less bloody that the Walmart atrocities foretold in Jason X.