Lost Ollie is a four-part Netflix series that mixes live-action and animation in a heartfelt adventure about friendship, companionship, and family. Sound familiar? Maybe not. Here are 5 reasons to watch Lost Ollie when it debuts on Netflix.
1. The Premise
Lost Ollie has at its heart a story about friendship. Losing a friend, especially when you are young, can be a heartbreaking experience, and here we see the trauma unfold as Billy and Ollie are separated and have to overcome all kinds of problems to be reunited. The mix here of live-action and animation will give this particular premise a real twist, it almost looks like a live-action version of Calvin and Hobbes, a property that will probably never see an adaptation such as this, but Lost Ollie might just be able to fill that void for every generation,
2. The Production
All you need to know about the quality of the animation is visible in the trailer for this show. The mix of the live-action and animation looks superb, as do the character designs and the performances. If you are expecting a garish colorful presentation, then you may have to view the trailer, as the cinematography seems to excel in offering a more muted color pallet that seems to hint that there are darker forces at work than in other such films and shows. Ollie running against a cloud-filled sky, and being thrown into the grey water looks darker and grimmer than you might expect, The whole trailer conveys a rain-swept tapestry, with our animated characters in run-down funfairs and open carriage trains. It all looks so good that it’s hard not to want to see it.
3. A Family Show
The show is based on a much-loved book by William Joyce and was part of the Netflix trailer drop for Family Summer. Some animated films rely on carefully placed moments of more grown-up humor to entice a better family viewing experience, but it can sometimes feel forced or even awkward. However, the tone of Lost Ollie seems to be more nuanced towards a family viewing experience, with the story alone being used to help families watch together. Perhaps producer Shannon Tindle, a designer on dark Neil Gaiman fairy tale Coraline, working in conjunction with the producers of Stranger Things, has resulted in a darker tone for Lost Ollie, but this series does look like something that everyone can sit down and watch together.
4. The Voice Cast
Jonathan Groff from Frozen and Hamilton voices Ollie, so it’s safe to say that this is a safe piece of casting, and on top of that we have Mary J. Blige on voice duties for Rosy, a feisty warrior teddy bear that becomes an ally for Ollie along the way, and creepy looking clown toy Zozo is voiced by Tim Blake Nelson. With this pedigree of actors on board, it would seem that the voice cast will add dimension and heart to the animated characters. These actors seem perfect for the toys they represent, and it will be worth watching to hear the performance they turn in.
5. The Feels
Let’s be honest, I don’t doubt for a moment that there will be a reunion in the final part of this four-part series, but this story will live and die on the execution of the premise, the quest, or journey of the characters. The ability of the characters to endear themselves to us, to make us care about them, will be the real test. If it manages to pull it off, then we know that those final scenes may allow us all to re-live moments of joy, to feel the emotion of being re-united with a loved one, for children to rejoice in the resolution of the quest, and maybe for grown-ups to reconnect with childhood dreams. If it gets the feels right, this could be a Netflix winner.