Here’s one that almost slipped past us. In two days, Netflix will be debuting a new Dreamworks movie! It never played in theaters, and the studio’s parent company NBC Universal apparently doesn’t want it for Peacock. While those might look like bad signs, Orion and the Dark doesn’t feel like an impending stinker. In fact, critics seem to like it a lot.
Orion is an oddly-named boy who’s the human equivalent of Wade Duck from Garfield and Friends — he’s afraid of everything. Cars, drinking fountains, trees, the color yellow, reruns of Bob Hearts Abishola, grass, the number 578453, the period at the end of this sentence, and most especially, most of ALL, the DARK. One day the dark decides to do something about it!
Quite literally. The dark is a sentient being in charge of all shadows, and he’s not alone. His friends all take part in keeping the night running the way it does: Sleep, Sweet Dreams, Quiet, Unexplained Noises and Insomnia. They’re about to take Orion for a ride, whether he likes it or not, to show him the world is nothing to be afraid of.
We have no idea why Dreamworks wasn’t interested in opening Orion and the Dark to a wider release beyond Netflix, but maybe the fact that it lacks star power played a factor (you know how much they love pointless celebrity casting). Though Dark sounds unmistakably like Seth Rogen, he isn’t the dude. It’s an actor you haven’t heard of named Paul Walter Hauser. Sleep is voiced by Natasia Demetriou, Quiet is played by Aparna Nancherla, Insomnia is played by Nat Faxon, Unexplained Noises is voiced by Golda Rosheuvel), and Orion himself is played by Jacob Tremblay. Sweet Dreams has the most recognizable voice in Angela Bassett.
The movie has a pretty original concept, which is rare these days. We’re interested and already popping popcorn for the arrival of Orion and the Dark on Netflix February 2nd.