Orion and the Dark

In the latest animated Netflix film Orion and the Dark, confronting your fears becomes a literal and imaginative process. Charlie Kauffman, best remembered for writing Being John Malkovich (1999) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), has penned a rather sentimental bedtime story that will give children something new but take their parents back to their childhoods.

Based on Emma Yarlett’s novel of the same name, Orion and the Dark allows its main character to introduce himself in an unusual way such as not wasting any time before listing through his own scares. The audience gets a sense of Orion within few minutes, just like his mother – he has revealed all his soft spots into our eyes through a journal — nevertheless Kaufman’s script and Sean Charmatz’s directing assure us that there is always more where that comes from . He is too much into details about everything around him especially darkness which at times he asks to leave him alone. However, darkness has other ideas because soon it steps out from behind one of Orion’s walls.

Initially voiced by Paul Walter Hauser as well as seen wearing large robe it looks like Dark does not care when he first enters in Orion’s room. This dissipates quickly when he confesses that being misunderstood by others pains him. “You think so much about yourself based on how others see you,” resulting in convincing orion to see how things are done at work for him to know that making someone life dark is not worth it.

Orion and the Dark

As Dark walks ahead with some colleagues along them shrouding the world in blackness(Orion &Dark), we get introduced to Sleep(Natasia Demetriou), Quiet(Aparna Nancherla),and Sweet Dreams(Angela Basset) who make our nights perfect; however insomnia(Nat Faxon)and Unexplained Noises(Golda Rosheuvel) have a lot of work also.

This sometimes seems reminiscent of bigger hits like Inside Out (2015), with similar writing choices seeking to humanize the unseen. However, Orion and Dark takes its own path from this point as they both have fears to overcome. Light (Ike Barinholtz) tends to overshadow Dark in a good way, because he is dark at night; moreover his friends of the darkness may leave him for other places that are brighter.

Kauffman fills this story with such complex feelings but does it gently while still avoiding faults made by other animated movies that go for an easier instant resolve. The main characters in particular are written to provide a multifaceted and constantly engaging performance. Also taking chances by diverting the screenplay between past and future as adult Orion narrates these events to his daughter(Mia Akemi Brown), who is excited about adding her own details too.

While occasionally biting off more than it can chew, Orion and the Dark ultimately finishes up on a more subtle, sweeter note. This well thought-out script, understated direction, and brilliant voice acting raise what would otherwise be quite ordinary plotting into a cuddly experience.

Watch Orion and the Dark on Kisscartoon

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