Netflix has been upping its game lately with its productions, and the newest movie made straight-to-Netflix is a sci-fi romp called Next Gen. It’s the story of a young girl named Mai Su. Unhappy with the robot-obsessed world around her, she accidentally discovers a top secret project named Q-Bot. Together, they go up against bullies, evil robots and a madman bent on world domination.

Pause the Krypton Radio stream while you watch this.

NextGen features the voices of Jason Sudeikis as Justin Pin, Michael Peña as Momo (we think that’s the dog) David Cross as Dr. Tanner Rice / Q-Bot, Charlyne Yi as the lead character Mai Su , and Constance Wu as Molly.

Director Joe Ksander

The film is written and directed by Joe Ksander and Kevin R. Adams. This isn’t their first project together; the pair worked as a director / writer team on a 2014 short called Gear, which explores generally similar themes. The pair also worked together on the Shane Acker/Tim Burton  animated feature 9, with Adams as art director and Ksander as animation director.

We were surprised to learn that Next Gen was done entirely in the open source animation package called “Blender”, put to use for the film by Tangent Animation of Toronto, Canada.

We asked Joe Ksander about the unusual platform choice (most feature animation is done in Autodesk’s Maya). Joe replied,

Artists, not tools, yo!

Yeah it’s a crazy tool and Tangent Animation really pushed it, but art direction and artists are the real secret!

Netflix bought the worldwide distribution rights (except for China) at the Cannes Film Festival this year for $30 million. Next Gen hits Netflix on September 7, 2018.

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