Netflix is ordering a so-called queer-friendly animated children series DeadEndia, a horror-comedy series known for its tales of adolescence and inclusion of LGBTQ story lines.
Netflix announced on Thursday that the “quirky, spooky and hilarious” DeadEndia series — based on the graphic novels from creator Hamish Steele — will premiere globally on Netflix in 2021. “The graphic novels have been lauded for capturing the growing pains of early adulthood of characters with a wide variety of identities and experiences including Barney, a transgender teen, and neurodiverse Norma,” said Netflix.
The show follows the adventures of characters Barney, Norma, and a magical-talking-dog named Pugsley as they balance their summer jobs at a local theme park haunted house while battling real supernatural forces that dwell within it. “Together with their guide to the underworld multiplane, a sardonic thousand-year-old demon named Courtney, they’ll face zombie mascots, demonic game show hosts, sleep-sucking witches and the scariest thing of all: their first crushes!” notes Netflix.
The streaming platform added that the series will also star Zach Barack, who became the first trans actor to appear on-screen in a Disney Marvel film.
“DeadEndia is about terrifying demons, vengeful ghosts and mysterious magic,” said Steele of the new animated series coming to Netflix. “It is also about coming of age in a world that wasn’t made for you. It’s a drama about found family, identity and making mistakes.”
“I’ve always dreamed of making the show I needed as a lonely, horror-obsessed closeted gay kid and thanks to Netflix and our ridiculously talented, diverse and representative writers room and crew, we have shot way past my dreams and into wildest fantasy territory!” he added.
Earlier this year, Disney featured its first openly lesbian character in its film Onward. And while the character only appears in one scene in the movie, it signals a huge shift for Pixar.
In May, Disney-owned Pixar unveiled its first-ever gay main character in a short Disney Plus film called Out. The film featured a man named Greg who had trouble coming out to his parents until a pair of fairy god-pets descended upon earth from a rainbow and swapped Greg’s body with his dog’s, giving Greg the ability to eavesdrop on his parents in the form of a dog. It was then that he realized his parents had accepted his homosexuality.