Netflix's slate of original animated content is growing slimmer. The streaming giant has reportedly quietly canceled two fan-favorite series, with both City of Ghosts and Centaurworld canceled in secret and not set to return for new seasons on the platform. While Netflix has not officially announced the cancellations, The Wrap confirmed them in a recent report.
Originally premiering in March 2021, City of Ghosts is a hybrid animated/mockumentary series that follows a group of ghost-loving kids in Los Angeles who learn more about their hometown by communicating directly with the ghosts who inhabit it. Each episode is based on and voiced by real residents from different neighborhoods. Developed by Elizabeth Ito, City of Ghosts' voice cast includes August Nuñez, Blue Chapman, Kirikou S'hai Muldrow, and Michael Ren, among others. The series was a major hit for Netflix, not only earning a rare 100% perfect Rotten Tomatoes score but also earning a recent Peabody Award nomination.
Originally premiering in July 2021, with a second season following that December, Centaurworld is an animated musical comedy that follows a warhorse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by vibrant, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. The voice cast includes Kimiko Glenn, Megan Hilty, Parvesh Cheena, Chris Diamantopoulos, Megan Nicole Dong, Josh Radnor, and Jessie Mueller. Centaurworld was created by Dong, with songs by Dong and Dominic Bisignano.
The quiet cancellations came amid a major shakeup in Netflix's animation studio. The Wrap reported on April 20 that Phil Rynda, Netflix's Director of Creative Leadership and Development for Original Animation, and several of his staff were "let go this week." Several creators told the outlet that the Kids & Family space at Netflix Animation "has changed" in recent years, noting that "series that benefited from great word-of-mouth and critical praise aren't being renewed and several high-profile projects have been unceremoniously canceled." Netflix has not commented on the reported cancellations.
Netflix subscribers know that it isn't uncommon for the streamer to give the boot to the series after just a single season or after just a few seasons, with many Netflix originals never making it past Season 2 or 3. The frequent and early cancellations have been a frequent talking point as Netflix continues to raise prices, often citing its growing slate of original content, and begins to tease plans to crack down on password sharing. The longevity of the streamer's original series also came up in discussions following news this week that Netflix is eyeing introducing ads.