It looks like Netflix no longer has any real interest in keeping its animation department afloat. The Wrap has learned that the streamer has gutted a significant portion of its animation staff, including Phil Rynda, who had been employed as Netflix’s Director of Creative Leadership and Development for Original Animation. Several of his staff was also fired this week, with multiple projects either not being renewed or outright canceled.
Phil Rynda, whose official title is Netflix’s Director of Creative Leadership and Development for Original Animation, was let go this week, along with several of his staff, TheWrap can exclusively report and Netflix has confirmed.
According to several creators who spoke to TheWrap, the Kids & Family space at Netflix Animation has changed. Series that benefited from great word-of-mouth and critical praise aren’t being renewed and several high-profile projects have been unceremoniously canceled, including the long-delayed adaptation of Jeff Smith’s beloved comic book series “Bone” (first announced back in 2019). Netflix, which just saw its stock plummet more than 30% after revealing a subscriber and revenue loss during its first-quarter earning report Tuesday, isn’t just in trouble on Wall Street. It’s also facing complications in Toon Town.
City of Ghosts director Elizabeth Ito and other creators behind some of Netflix’s critically acclaimed animations are claiming that the streamer is using “staged data” to justify the drop in funding or cancellation of projects. The news follows Netflix’s disappointing Q1 2022 financial results, which revealed a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the previous quarter.