As Netflix Acquires the REDWALL Book Series For Animation, It Heats Up The Competition With Disney

As Netflix Acquires the REDWALL Book Series For Animation, It Heats Up The Competition With Disney

The Netflix push into animation continues with the streaming service acquiring the rights to turn the REDWALL fantasy books into several projects.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has made no secret of the fact that he would like to take the mantle of king of animation away from Disney and have his streaming service be thought of as the true home of family fare. His next step to achieve that goal is acquiring the rights to Redwall, the 22 volume fantasy book series by Brian Jacques whose characters are made up completely of anthropomorphic animals.

The books, which were published between 1986 until the author’s death in 2011, focus on the aforementioned animals that live in Redwall Abbey and Mossflower Wood, the surrounding countryside. Describes Wikipedia, “The novels in the series are set in many periods in the fictional history of Redwall and Mossflower; the chronological order of the stories is not the same as the order in which they were written, some taking place before the construction of Redwall Abbey itself or in far-flung locations beyond Mossflower. Some of the books focus on characters who, in other volumes, are legendary historical figures, such as The Legend of Luke. Because of the widely spaced storylines, very few characters are mentioned in more than one or two novels. One notable exception is Martin the Warrior, one of the founders of Redwall Abbey, whose adventures are chronicled in several of the novels and who is frequently mentioned as an icon of heroism who inspires later Redwall denizens, occasionally appearing to them as a spiritual vision.”

The Netflix plan calls for an animated film that will be based on the first book of the series, as well as allowing heroic mouse Martin the Warrior to star in an event (finite number of episodes) series.

Between 1999 and 2001, there were three seasons of an animated television series produced that adapted events of the novels Redwall, Mattimeo and Martin the Warrior.

In a 1997 interview with The Atlanta Constitution, Jacques explained the reason his characters are animals: “Animals are better people than people. ‘You dirty rat.’ You’ve heard people say that, haven’t you? Right away you’ve named a baddie. The heroes in my books are the mice. Mice don’t really harm people. You never heard of a kid who went wandering in the woods and got his head bitten off by a grizzly mouse, right?”

As to why the stories are set in medieval times, he noted, “It’s a gentler age. There’s no technology. I don’t want to write books about divorce problems, technology, microsurgery and space travel. My books are all about, “Once upon a time, long ago and far away, beneath a forgotten sky.’”

More news on Redwall will be coming soon.

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