Netflix has ordered a new family series titled Lost Ollie, which is inspired by William Joyce‘s acclaimed 2016 book Ollie’s Odyssey, Collider has learned.
Lost Ollie follows a lost toy as he searches across the countryside for the boy who lost much more than a best friend. The duo embark on an epic adventure to reunite in the face of all the dangers that childhood can throw at them.
The four-episode series was created by writer Shannon Tindle, an animation veteran whose various credits include Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, and it’ll be directed by Peter Ramsey, who won an Oscar for his groundbreaking work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Tindle and Ramsey will also executive produce alongside Shawn Levy and Josh Barry of 21 Laps Entertainment, Brandon Oldenburg of Flight School Studio, and Lampton Enochs, while Emily Morris will serve as a co-executive producer. Meanwhile, the mad geniuses at ILM will be creating CGI characters for the series, including Ollie and his friends.
Levy’s 21 Laps banner is one of Netflix’s most prolific producers, as the company is currently working on the fourth season of Stranger Things in addition to its involvement with Dash & Lily, Shadow and Bone, Unsolved Mysteries and the development title All the Light We Cannot See. On the feature side, 21 Laps is producing an untitled action movie that will reunite Levy with his Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds, and the company also teamed with James Wan‘s Atomic Monster on Netflix’s upcoming slasher movie There’s Someone Inside Your House, which will be released on the streamer next year.
I may not have kids of my own, but Lost Ollie strikes me as the kind of family entertainment that adults can enjoy as well. From the Toy Story franchise to Dean Koontz‘s excellent dark fable Oddkins (which Netflix should develop as a companion piece to this series), I guess I’ve always been a sucker for stories about lost toys trying to find their way home, and I’m eager to see the design concepts ILM comes up with under thee guidance of Tindle and Ramsey, two longtime pros who know exactly what they’re doing. I’m glad Lost Ollie has found a home at Netflix, as I suspect it could be a hit for the streamer down the line.
You can also scroll down to read an emotional note from Netflix executive Teddy Biaselli, who explains why the streaming giant is so excited about Lost Ollie. This kind of blog post goes a long way in my book, so have a look below.
I’ve been a toy collector my entire life. My personal collection consists of thousands of toys, some modern and sleek, and others vintage and worn from all the adventures I took them on as a kid. And though time has taken its toll, I have held onto them because of the special place they hold in my heart. We’ve all had a toy like that – a confidant, a protector, a sidekick, a best friend. And when we’ve lost a toy…it’s like we’ve lost a part of ourselves.
That’s the premise of Lost Ollie, the tale of a lost toy searching across the countryside for the boy who lost him, and the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend. This new live-action family series has been in the works for four years. It was one of the first projects I bought when I came to Netflix because I saw in it the universal story of loss that all of us, no matter how old, could relate to.
The show is inspired by a story developed by Academy Award winners Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce, which later became the book Ollie’s Odyssey – and has been artfully adapted by creator Shannon Tindle, whose Kubo and the Two Strings was one of my favorite animated films in recent years. Shannon found a deeply personal connection to the material and has brought Ollie to life with the same artistry and emotion that he did on Kubo, Coraline, and his Emmy-winning work on Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends.
We are thrilled that Academy Award-winner Peter Ramsey is going to helm this epic adventure as director and executive producer. Peter previously adapted another of William Joyce’s works (The Guardians of Childhood) into the animated feature film Rise of The Guardians. Then of course he gave us all a stunning, new and vital vision of everything animation can be as the director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which earned the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2019.
Joining Shannon and Peter are Shawn Levy, Josh Barry and Emily Morris from 21 Laps Entertainment, some of the brilliant minds who brought us Stranger Things, and Academy Award winners Brandon Oldenburg and Lampton Enochs. And we’re so lucky to have the Emmy Award-winning artists at Industrial Light & Magic bringing Ollie and his friends to life.
Lost Ollie is truly an odyssey about two friends trying to reunite in the face of all the dangers that childhood can throw at them. I love this show because it taps into that well of emotion we all feel when we lose something or someone important to us, and the courage we have to find in ourselves to get it back, or to move on.
I can’t wait for you to meet Ollie and to fall in love with him like we have. And until then, give your favorite toy an extra squeeze for me.
Director, YA/Family Series