‘Bone’ Animated Series Cancelled Amidst Turbulence At Netflix

by Erik Amaya

Sadly, the Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures have won the day.

In a far reaching article over at The Wrap Pro (which is pay-walled), the site revealed the long awaited animated adaptation of Jeff Smith‘s Bone is no more. Netflix subsequently confirmed that aspect of the report, which also describes an increasingly hostile work environment for producers of family and kids programing at the streaming service.

Bone was first announced in 2019. “I’ve waited a long time for this,” Smith said in a statement back then. “Netflix is the perfect home for Bone. Fans of the books know that the story develops chapter-by-chapter and book-by-book. An animated series is exactly the way to do this! The team at Netflix understands Bone and is committed to doing something special — this is good news for kids and cartoon lovers all over the world.”

Debuting in 1993 and completing its run in 2004, Bone was the result of Smith’s wish to enter the animation field. Published by his own Cartoon Books (and, briefly, Image Comics), the series told the tale of the three Bone cousins: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone. Fleeing Boneville after one of Phoney’s schemes went disastrously awry, they enter the Valley where Fone meets Thorn. They also find the Valley is threatened by the Lord of the Locusts and stupid, stupid rat creatures. Soon, they join Thorn and her grandmother in a fight against the encroaching darkness. Also, Fone discovers he has a connection to the Great Red Dragon lurking in the Valley.

The concept was always perfect for the sort of animated programs Netflix was making three years ago, but since that time a data-driven change in directives led to the series becoming less and less a priority until it was quietly canceled. The Wrap also contends the data may itself be flawed to support Netflix’s position as it cancels well-received programs and seeks out a sure-fire success.

Hopefully, Smith will find another platform ready and willing to bring Bone to life.

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