Netflix has dominated the world of subscription streaming services for a long time now. Last year, Time reported that during peak evening hours, Netflix usage accounted for close to 40 percent of internet traffic in North America.
The amount of family oriented content available on the streaming platform contributes to its popularity, with offerings including original series based on DreamWorks Animation movies such as “Turbo,” “The Croods” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” Netflix also has exclusive streaming rights to a large number of kid-friendly movies and TV shows.
According to The Washington Post, about half of Netflix’s 75 million subscribers regularly stream children’s TV shows and movies on the platform.
For any families still holding out, Netflix is making its subscription service that much more enticing with a few new developments.
First, Netflix announced that beginning in September, the platform will become the “exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar.”
That means everything from Star Wars to the Avengers to in-development Disney animated movies such as “Moana” and “Gigantic” will all call Netflix home.
The downside to that is that the exclusivity agreement does not apply to movies released prior to 2016, so films such as “The Force Awakens” are not included. However, it’s still a significant move for Netflix toward securing an even bigger cross section of the streaming market.
Along with new Marvel series such as “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist,” a major part of Netflix’s aggressive new content lineup for 2016 is 30 original kids shows, according to Business Insider.
And finally — and in some ways, the most interesting news of all — is the announcement that the French-produced 3-D animated/stop-motion hybrid movie “The Little Prince,” based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved 1943 novella, will be released in theaters and on Netflix this August, according to cartoonbrew.com.
Netflix had previously acquired distribution rights to the film, which was directed by Academy Award nominee Mark Osborne (“Kung Fu Panda”) and features the voices of Jeff Bridges, Paul Rudd, Rachel McAdams and James Franco, among others, when the previous distributor, Paramount, inexplicably opted to drop it from its release schedule only one week before it was set to hit theaters.
“The Little Prince” won the 2016 César Award for Best Animated Film in its native France.
Not only is this good for subscribers, but Netflix’s decision to release the film theatrically is also likely to position it as a potential Oscar contender during the next awards season. For animation fans young and old, this could signal a very interesting development as Netflix evolves into a bastion for serious animated filmmaking, not just the more typical Saturday morning cartoon-type fare.
All in all, these three announcements could turn out to make Netflix an even more appealing option for parents looking for family friendly content, especially ones with kids of different ages and with different tastes.
Jeff Peterson studied humanities and history at Brigham Young University. He currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife and two dogs.