Why Was Netflix's Hand-Drawn Animated Film EMBER Canceled?

After his directorial debut with Netflix's 2019 animated feature, Klaus, Sergio Pablos was in the process of making another Netflix film, Ember, but now it's not moving forward.

Sergio Pablos was on track to continue his directorial journey alongside Netflix once again after his award-winning work on the 2019 animated feature -- and his proper directorial debut -- Klaus. Unfortunately, it seems like his next project, Ember, was among the list of projects Netflix decided to scrap.

According to a report from Variety just last week, multiple shows were canned and the animated feature was among the films to get the boot. Announced back in June, Ember follows humanity's quest for fire, focusing specifically on a young girl named Dikika. In it, she ventures to a distant volcano to hope to get the spark and save her tribe.

Notably, Ember was the first and only film among Netflix's slew of upcoming animated features to use hand-drawn animation. A logical conclusion to many would be the film's cost was too much for Netflix to risk, though, even that speculation has a bunch of holes thanks to Klaus and its success.

Netflix saw great success with Pablos' animated Christmas movie with multiple awards won and multiple others that it was nominated for. Because of this, it isn't like Netflix is shying away from the idea of traditional animation and hand-drawn stuff. There's clearly a market for it.

The actual reason behind Ember's cancellation, at least according to sources from the report, was creative and not because of cost. On the bright side, Pablos owns the rights to the movie and is allowed to shop the film around to other services to make the film come to life. 

It shouldn't be too difficult for Pablos to find a new home for the movie, after all, he is an industry veteran with a portfolio laden with Disney classics like Tarzan and Treasure Planet. He also founded SPA Studios and worked on concepts for films like Smallfoot and the now-franchise, Despicable Me.

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