It seems like Netflix can’t stop making the news for various reasons. Maybe it’s the shedding of subscribers, layoffs, or prophecies of gloom and doom in the battle between streaming platforms. This latest shake-up however is less clear cut in terms of what it means for the future of the company. Netflix’s head of adult animation, Mike Moon, is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
When one thinks of original Netflix animated series, the first ones that come to mind are “BoJack Horseman” and possibly “Big Mouth.” Netflix had hoped to continue that success by bringing in veteran animator, writer, producer Mike Moon. Moon’s credits include “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” “House of Mouse,” and other projects for Disney and Cartoon Network. Four and a half years after joining the streaming platform, Moon is leaving Netflix to “pursue other opportunities.”
There are a number of questions to ask about this departure and what led to it. It can be safely said that in terms of Netflix generating another show to hit the heights of “BoJack” or “Big Mouth,” that hasn’t happened. There have also been several high profile animated projects that have suddenly disappeared from the upcoming slate. Is that the fault of Moon, or a shift in Netflix’s general direction of programming? We do know Netflix recently set to acquire its own animation studio, in the form of Animal Logic. A very successful company in their own right, this was a big investment for Netflix. If there was anything comparable to that in terms of adult animation, we haven’t heard anything or seen anything of it publicly.
Moon did help lead some projects into development including the upcoming “Exploding Kittens,” based on the card game of the same name. Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, the same team behind “King of the Hill,” are working on the project, but is that going to be enough to win over hearts, minds, eyes, and wallets? Moon also helped create Vine Studios for Netflix’s own animation projects in addition to other upcoming series including “Agent King.” It’s about Elvis Presley as a secret agent; potentially interesting but maybe not the thing that’s going to put Netflix adult animation on the map.
Did Moon live up to Netflix’s expectations? Was the company as invested in adult animation as Moon would’ve hoped? Is there some sort of restructuring going on in the wake of Netflix’s subscriber issues? It feels like there’s more going on here than what’s seen on the surface and maybe we’ll hear more after Moon officially departs at the end of this month. In the meantime, we’ll keep our eye on Netflix and see what else is moving and shaking in their animation team. If something happens, we’ll be sure to cover it.