Time to face your fears with Orion and the Dark

(courtesy IMP Awards)

Orion (Jacob Tremblay) seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, Dark (Paul Walter Hauser) whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night.

As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life – and finally embrace the joy of living. (courtesy Dreamworks Animation Wiki)

I love animation.

I love it even more when there’s a movie length story made with it that’s full if idiosyncratically witty characters, a vaultingly imaginative premise and some killer lines of silly but emotionally meaningful dialogue.

Orion and the Dark appears to have all that well in hand, and while we can’t be absolutely certain it will knock it out of the park since the first trailer is but a humble teaser, it promises a film that looks to be smart, funny and sassy and which actually goes somewhere delightfully thoughtful.

Based on the children’s book of the same name by Emma Yarlett, Orion and the Dark is directed by Sean Charmatz, making his directorial debut, to a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Orion and the Dark is the kind of animated treat that beautifully cases just what this wondrously good genre can do.

Orion and the Dark will release 2 February 2024 on Netflix.

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