Lost Ollie review – this is the best family series this year

By Daniel Hart
Published: August 24, 2022 (Last updated: November 14, 2023)
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Forget the comparisons to Toy Story because Lost Ollie is the best family series this year.

This review of the Netflix limited series Lost Ollie contains no spoilers or major plot points.

READ: 5 Reasons to Watch Lost Ollie.

READ: The ending explained for Lost Ollie

Now and again, Netflix releases a limited series that is compelling and has the potential to be spoken about by the masses. Lost Ollie is one of those series. The series is based on a 2016 book by William Joyce. Joyce is a much-loved author and illustrator, and the book’s title is Ollie’s Odyssey.

Without question, Lost Ollie will draw warranted comparisons to Toy Story, but do not let that be the reason to avoid this incredible 4-part story. Creator Shannon Tindle and Director Peter Ramsay had an extraordinary vision for the adaptation. This is the best family series this year.

The story follows a toy (a teddy bear rabbit) called Ollie, lost by his young owner, Billy. Ollie is a lifelong companion kind of toy. The type of toy that goes beyond the reasonability of childhood. A toy that links the past intrinsically to your present. The series follows a quest as Billy and Ollie try to find each other. Fate seems to conspire to throw every possible hurdle in the way.

However, the written premise is created to fool audiences. Intrinsically woven in the story is a heavy theme of grief and loss. Billy and Ollie’s quest to find each other is heralded by a sad truth that haunts them. The family series remarkably displays the woes of trauma that comes from loss by wonderfully entwining the past and present.

Netflix’s Lost Ollie is not simple by any stretch. While the themes and premise feel straightforward, audiences will be met with a few clever and sad twists along the way. We’ve all felt the weight of Woody’s torment by desperately returning to Andy in Toy Story, but the significance of what the characters face in Lost Ollie is far greater. This isn’t Disney or Pixar; this is far more complex and deeper.

Bringing an excellent voice cast (including Mary J Blige, Jonathon Groff, and Gina Rodriguez), Lost Ollie manages to charm the audience. The story flows smoothly between episodes, making it hard to put down. But, on top of all that, the production team behind the CGI should be applauded. Netflix has been repeatedly criticized for putting budgets into famous people rather than special effects, but Lost Ollie’s simple yet effective design of the toys and how they situate in the world is brilliant.

Once Ollie meets his toy companion (Zozo) to help his journey back to Billy, audiences will be thrown into a confusing world of childhood innocence and the overbearing nature of moving towards adulthood. This is not a story to be “toyed” with; it’s a story to be taken seriously.

And so with that, if you are a parent, watch it with your children. As an adult, I found the themes relatively strong, so supervision seems necessary. A shared experience with family could be a wonderful thing. That’s what Lost Ollie is trying to achieve.

Forget the comparisons to Toy Story because Lost Ollie is the best family series this year.

What did you think of the Netflix limited series Lost Ollie? Comment below.

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