Netflix and King Features Syndicate, a part of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication, announced an all-new animated series The Cuphead Show!, based on Studio MDHR’s Cuphead video game franchise.
The game’s retro hand-animated style, boss brawls, and gameplay will come to life in The Cuphead Show! The new series will expand on the characters and world of Cuphead, with an animation style inspired by the classic Fleischer cartoons from the 1930s. CJ Kettler, president of King Features, will serve as executive producer along with creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer of Studio MDHR. Netflix Animation will produce the series. Dave Wasson (Mickey Mouse Shorts) and Cosmo Segurson (Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling) will also serve as co-executive producers.
“The Cuphead video game has authentically re-created a golden era of animation and captured the imagination of modern gamers to resounding success and worldwide buzz: a fantastic jumping off point for an all-new Netflix original animated series,” said Melissa Cobb, vice-president of original animation at Netflix. “We look forward to bringing this beloved property to television for the first time ever to delight global audiences and animation fans on Netflix.”
The character-driven comedy will follow the misadventures of Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman across their home of the Inkwell Isles.
To date, Cuphead has sold more than 4 million units worldwide, and has won more than 20 awards, including Special Achievement in Animation at the 45th Annual Annie Awards, Xbox One’s Game of the Year, a BAFTA Games award for Music, and a trio of statues at the 2017 Game Awards for Best Debut, Best Independent Game, and Best Art Direction. The game continues to be celebrated by fans for its arcade-action gameplay, original art design, and music soundtrack featuring almost three hours of original jazz, early big band, and ragtime music.
“Jared and I grew up on a steady diet of hand-animated classics – some of our favorite memories together are intertwined with early Disney, Ub Iwerks, and Fleischer Studios,” said Studio MDHR Co-Director Chad Moldenhauer. “These cartoons are a huge part of the reason Cuphead came to exist, and the thought of our little animated adventure becoming a cartoon of its own is surreal and wonderful. We can’t think of better partners than King Features and Netflix and are so excited for Cuphead fans and new audiences alike to discover the world of the Inkwell Isles as envisioned by the talented team at Netflix Animation.”
This announcement marks the first long-form animated series production for King Features since announcing its strategy to build character franchises across multiple platforms including television, digital video, licensing, and social media.
“Cuphead has all the elements of a brilliant animated series – great characters, physical comedy, beautiful design and a production style that harkens back to the golden age of animation,” said King Features’ Kettler. “We are so fortunate to partner with Netflix Animation on the production of this new series, which will introduce the adventures of Cuphead and Mugman to new audiences.”
Cuphead has already made its mark in the consumer products space with a unique program featuring an array of domestic and international deals. Best-in-class partners include Funko, McFarlane Toys, Dark Horse Comics, Elope, Jay Franco + Sons, 1000 Toys, Fifth Sun, Just Funky and retail partnerships with Target, Walmart, Hot Topic, Spencer’s, Gamestop and others.
Cuphead creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer will also make their San Diego Comic-Con debut later this month, with a panel and exclusive poster signing at the Comics Kingdom booth (booth No. 1634) on Saturday, July 20th.