One of the animated movies that’s been in development over the past few years for Netflix Animation is Escape from Hat, but after months (if not years) of the project looking like it’s stalled, we’ve learned that the project is no longer moving forward at the streamer.
The movie’s announcement came in November of 2018 with Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince) and writer Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl, The Clockwork War) attached, and production began around the same time.
Escape from Hat was one of two projects the esteemed director was attached to at Netflix, with the other project, With Kind Regards from Kindergarten, also involving Adam Kline. Both projects were set up at Fox and Blue Sky Studios before moving to Netflix.
Osborne’s first project for Netflix was technically The Little Prince (a movie that sadly departed Netflix in most regions), a Netflix Original distributed by Paramount Pictures elsewhere.
Escape From Hat would’ve been a family-focused fantasy movie based on the 2020 book by Adam Kline and Brian Taylor.
Per Netflix, here’s the logline for the movie:
“In a fairy tale where black cats are bad and magic rabbits are good, balance is threatened when one such rabbit is cast into a mysterious realm of danger and shadow. There, our desperate hero rallies an unexpected band of allies and undertakes an impossible quest to escape from inside a magician’s hat – and return to the human boy he dearly loves.”
Book cover for Escape from Hat
Throughout 2022, through what’s dubbed as the Great Netflix Correction, Netflix Animation was one of the departments that saw lots of cuts to both projects and personnel. The Wrap lifted the lid on a slew of projects no longer forward, and Variety announced shortly after that With Kind Regards From Kindergarten had joined the list of cut projects. Others included Wings of Fire, Bone, Antiracist Baby, and many more. Netflix disputed that creative reasons were among some of the reasons why various shows and movies had been scrapped.
Another we just recently learned that had been cut (although will be distributed elsewhere) is High in the Clouds.
Now we’ve got confirmation that Escape from Hat won’t be moving forward at Netflix, with the project looking to have been canceled at some point in 2022.
There are several things to support this, including that most of the people attached behind the scenes have moved on to other projects or listing that the project is on hold on their respective portfolios.
Another sign in 2022 we noticed was that the movie no longer existed in Netflix’s database. According to Maft from the NewonNetflix.info site, the Netflix page was removed from Netflix’s index and became inaccessible around August 2022.
Despite Escape from Hat no longer being part of Netflix’s animation slate, they still have a number of high-profile animated titles on the way throughout the remainder of 2023 and into 2024.
Are you disappointed Escape from Hat won’t be coming to Netflix?