Here’s your complete list of animation coming and going from Netflix in the month of August.
August 3 kicks off the fun with a blockbuster from last year.
- Sing (2016), although it was lost in the shuffle behind Zootopia, Moana, and fellow musical Trolls, is a great piece of work. Matthew McConaughey is perfect as Buster Moon, the Vaudeville-obsessed koala who only wants to put on a great show. An endless parade of comedians and voice acting stars from Reese Witherspoon to Seth MacFarlane to Nick Offerman do their best to belt out Top 40 hits. Even when they’re so full of autotune that you can barely make out the words, it’s still charming in context. Everything about this movie just sort of works, and it’s pure entertainment.
August 4 has my personal pick for Best Animated Series of the Month.
- Voltron season 3 has a lot to live up to. Season 1 was pretty good, but season 2 established the adventures of five young pilots as the heir to Avatar: The Last Airbender. The humor is gloriously absurd, full of running gags, and permeates every episode. The action scenes get more and more bonkers each time, to the point where it’s no longer surprising to see Voltron tear through entire planets… and it’s believable. And the character moments are as good as anything that ever happened to Aang, Katara, and the crew. Season 3 promises some big changes, including finally letting Princess Allura take the wheel of the Black Lion.
August 8 is the Netflix premiere of a much-beloved series.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s seventh season is being broken up into two parts. On the 8th, we get episodes 1-13. We’re actually still in the middle of the season on air, making this a record for Netflix. Episode 13 airs on Cartoon Network on August 5th, and then hits Netflix just three days later. The latest story arc focuses on Starlight Glimmer, Twilight Sparkle’s student. She’s learned everything Twilight can teach her, and neither of them are sure what to do next.
August 11 marks the start of a whole bunch of kid stuff from Netflix.
- Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh season 3 is still based on the DreamWorks film about the baby alien. The movie wasn’t very good. The series isn’t much better, though the shift from 3D animation to 2D Flash-style art is still an interesting choice.
- True and the Rainbow Kingdom season 1 is the latest from Bill Schultz, legendary producer of Garfield, Mighty Max, Mortal Kombat, Richie Rich, and many more classic series from the 90s and 00s. The new show follows the adventures of an 8 year old girl and her cat Bartleby in a fantasy realm called the Rainbow Kingdom. It’s expressly targeted at preschoolers, so it’s not likely we’ll cover it here on The Vocal Range.
August 13 continues the trend, though it’s a stretch for younger kids.
- Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) is the first and only animated feature from Luc Besson. He’s known for his sweeping and bizarre sci-fi/fantasy epics like The Fifth Element and the recent Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. By contrast, Arthur is relatively normal. It’s a French take on The Borrowers, about a young boy who befriends a tribe of tiny humanoid creatures. The English version features voice acting from Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, and David Bowie as the evil Emperor.
August 18 brings us anime and a good old-fashioned toy commercial.
- Glitter Force Doki Doki season 1 is a “Magical Girl” anime about four superheroes defending both Earth and the magical realm of Splendorious from King Mercenare. Nice names! The English voice cast features the wonderful Debi Derryberry.
- Dinotrux season 5 is a DreamWorks production based on a series of children’s books, with accompanying toys. It’s about monster trucks, which are also dinosaurs, which are also heroes.
August 25 marks the premiere of a live action adaptation of Death Note, the classic and very bloody anime. That’s not animation, though.
- DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge season 5 certainly is animation, and it’s surprisingly good. DreamWorks has been turning its film franchises into animated series as fast as it can, but Dragons remains the best one by far. Most of the original voice cast from the films reprise their roles in the series, and the storyline has gotten nicely complex. Plus, dragons.
So, there you have it. Netflix is taking a “quality over quantity” approach this month. Stay tuned for Amazon Prime!