'Skylanders Academy' Hits Netflix This Fall


Netflix and Activision Blizzard Studios are giving kids something to look forward to this fall. The game maker's first television production, Skylanders Academy, will premiere on the streaming service later this year.

The series follows the adventures of the Skylanders team, a group of unique heroes with different skills and personalities, who protect the Skylands universe from evil.

"Over the last five years, millions of families around the world have welcomed Skylanders characters into their homes. Now, they'll be able to watch their favorite characters come to life on Netflix," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. "We couldn't have found a better home for Skylanders Academy and look forward to sharing our extraordinary characters with Netflix audiences around the world."

Characters like Spyro, Stealth Elf, Eruptor, and Glumshanks, who, along with their fellow heroes, show the next wave of Academy cadets how to do things the "Skylander way."

Launched in November, the Activision Blizzard Studio is also developing a "robust cinematic universe" based on the Call of Duty franchise; fans can expect a series of feature films, as well as possible TV adaptations. Diablo, Hearthstone, and StarCraft are also on the studio's radar.

First on tap, though, is the animated version of Skylanders—a $3 billion franchise that has sold more than 250 million toys since 2011.

"Skylanders Academy gives us the opportunity to approach narrative storytelling with the same level of quality and excellence that millions of Skylanders fans have come to expect from the game," Activision Blizzard Studios Co-President Stacey Sher said. "We're inspired by our fans' excitement for these characters and have worked hard to bring these characters to life with stories our fans will love."

Helmed by showrunner Eric Rogers (Futurama), Skylanders Academy features the voices of Justin Long (the "I'm a Mac" guy) as Spyro, High School Musical's Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) as Eruptor, and SNL alum Norm MacDonald as Glumshanks.

Additional voices are provided by YouTube star The Diamond Minecraft, Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O'Hara, Bobcat Goldthwait, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jonny Rees, Harland Williams, and Richard Horvitz.

An exact launch date has not been revealed. Skylanders Academy is one of five upcoming Netflix original animated series for kids, including Llama Llama (2017), Spirit Riding Free (2017), Spy Kids: Mission Critical (2018), and Hilda (2018).

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