Nearly six months ago, Netflix announced a new heartwarming family series titled Lost Ollie, and now the streamer has unveiled the cast, which includes its Mindhunter star — I refuse to call him an alum — Jonathan Groff as the voice of the title character — a lost toy searching for home.
Mary J. Blige, Jake Johnson, Gina Rodriguez and Tim Blake Nelson comprise the rest of the cast along with young Kesler Talbot (50 States of Fright), who will play Ollie’s heartbroken young owner.
Inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by renowned author and illustrator William Joyce, Lost Ollie is the story of a lost toy on an epic adventure, searching across the country for Billy, the boy who lost him. Billy lost more than a best friend that day, as he shares a magical bond with Ollie, and is desperate to reunite with his beloved toy.
Groff, who voices Kristoff in the Frozen movies, will voice Ollie, a handmade toy rabbit stitched together from odds and ends. Ollie has a pure spirit with a heart of gold and never ruins a chance to make friends. He’s been best friends with Billy forever, until one day he ends up in a resale shop with no way home. Though he’s often afraid of the unknown, Ollie puts on a brave face and sets off to find Billy, meeting other toys that help him along the way.
Blige, who previously starred in Netflix‘s Mudbound, will voice Rosy, a raggedy teddy bear stitched together from other toys. Rosy is a fearless warrior who is deeply passionate with inspiring confidence. While unsure of Ollie at first, she becomes an important ally as she joins them on their journey.
Nelson, who was last seen on HBO‘s Watchmen, will voice Zozo, a clown doll who is an old toy and an even older soul. Zozo is a true gentleman with a good sense of humor, and after meeting Ollie and hearing his story, he agrees to help Ollie on his journey.
Rodriguez and Johnson will play Billy’s loving parents, who are doing all they can to make a good life for their son and teach him all the things he’ll need to know to find happiness in the future. Both actors have ties to Netflix, as Rodriguez is the voice of its Carmen Sandiego series, while the streamer recently aired Johnson‘s animated series Hoops.
Lost Ollie hails from creator/writer Shannon Tindle (Kubo and the Two Strings), who is also executive producing alongside director Peter Ramsey (Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Shawn Levy and Josh Barry of 21 Laps Entertainment (Stranger Things), as well as Brandon Oldenburg of Flight School Studio and Lampton Enochs. Emily Morris will serve as a co-executive producer.
ILM (The Mandalorian) is creating CGI characters for the four-episode limited series, which is a hybrid of live-action and animation. Each episode will be approximately 45 minutes long, and production is currently underway in Vancouver.
Netflix recently announced the expansion of its overall deal and multi-year partnership with Levy and his 21 Laps banner, which has numerous Netflix series in production and more than 15 additional movies and shows in active development. I fully expect Season 4 of its hit series Stranger Things to premiere this October (if not sooner), and while there’s no word on when Lost Ollie will hit Netflix, the company has a new fantasy series titled Shadow and Bone that will debut on April 23, so keep an eye out for that one, and stay tuned for more about Lost Ollie, which sounds like it could be special.