Netflix After School Animation Preview Includes Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight, Long-Awaited Dragon Prince Season 4, And More

Netflix has been going through a bit of a rough month. After the streamer revealed it lost 200,000 subscribers last quarter, the company suffered drastic financial losses overnight. In the animation side of things, Netflix also went through some controversy, with a report stating that there have been big shake-ups going on at Netflix's animation department, including the firing of a key executive, and the cancellation of projects like an adaptation of Jeff Smith's "Bone," and even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's animated series "Pearl."

Now, the streamer is trying to distract from the bad news by releasing a preview sizzle reel of some of the animated projects they haven't canceled yet, including many, many interactive specials, new shows, and some anticipated returns.

Though the reel focuses more on big IP-based shows like a new "Sonic" show, or the return of "Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous" and "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe", arguably the most exciting news is the first bit of footage from the upcoming "Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight," our first look at the new series from Everett Downing, the director of the Oscar-winning short "Hair Love," as well as the highly anticipated return of Netflix's epic fantasy saga "The Dragon Prince."

Welcomed returns

"The Dragon Prince" is an animated fantasy show from the director of "Uncharted 3" and the head writer of "Avatar: The Last Airbender." The show is set in a world where humans have discovered access to magic by killing magical creatures, leading to a war against the elves that culminated with humans kidnapping and killing the last dragon king — that is, until a young prince finds the dragon egg. The show is full of deep lore, complex characters, exquisite production design, and a surprising amount of diversity for a fantasy show.

The last we saw a new "Dragon Prince" episode was back in 2019, which feels like 25 years ago, when the show was renewed for four additional seasons of nine episodes each. It seems we are finally getting the fourth season at some point this year. The Twitter account for the show posted an update last month that all the scripts and dialogues for the season are done, and most of the episodes have finished being animated.

Also returning with new episodes this year is the surprisingly great adaptation of the video game "Cuphead!" the first footage of Jack Black's return as Po in the new "Kung Fu Panda" cartoon, and the final season of "Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous," which promises (or threatens) to finally tie into the live-action "Jurassic World: Dominion" movie in some capacity, maybe. Also announced is an interactive special titled "Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure" where you can help the titular campers survive against dinosaurs and the elements.

New faces

Of course, not everything is about IPs, because the sizzle reel also teases some fresh new shows coming out this year. Among them, there is "Daniel Spellbound," a show set in modern day New York where magic is real, but hidden, and follows a kid who gets involved in a conflict that may destroy the magical world — which sounds a bit like the great "Jake Long: American Dragon."

There's also "Dead End: Paranormal Park," an adaptation of the horror-comedy comic "DeadEndia" by Hamish Steele, about workers at a theme park haunted house that actually has a portal to hell. It promises to be a fun gateway cartoon, and features a trans boy as a protagonist.

Also being released this year is "Super Giant Robot Brothers," an animated series from "Metalocalypse" co-creator Tommy Blacha, which follows two giant robots who discover they are brothers and set out to defend the Earth against kaiju invasions. What makes this title worth keeping an eye out for is the fact that it is the first animated series to use the video game engine Unreal Engine throughout production, with scenes being shot in live-action then rendered in real-time using Unreal.

Though it won't premiere until 2023, arguably the most exciting new show announced in the sizzle reel is "My Dad The Bounty Hunter," the anticipated action-comedy by the director of "Hair Love," which follows an intergalactic bounty hunter whose kids accidentally crash his latest mission on outer space, and must now balance fights with aliens with family bonding time, while trying to keep things secret from mom. The few seconds of footage look great, which makes the wait more painful.