‘Spirit Riding Free’ and ‘The Bad Guys’ Animated Movies Set at DreamWorks and Universal

“Spooky Jack,” from DreamWorks Animation and Blumhouse, is now undated

DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures are in the works on animated films based on the TV series “Spirit Riding Free” and “The Bad Guys” book series,  both of which are set to be released in 2021, the studios announced on Monday.

The untitled “Spirit Riding Free” film, based on the Netflix original series from DreamWorks Animation Television, will open wide on May 14, 2021. “The Bad Guys,” based on the 10-book children’s series from author Aaron Blabey, will open on Sept. 17, 2021.

“The Bad Guys” will take the spot of “Spooky Jack,” a collaboration between DreamWorks and Blumhouse, which is now unset.

“Spirit Riding Free” follows the unbreakable bond between a free-spirited girl and her wild stallion companion. The show has run for 52 episodes since May 2017, all of which are available on Netflix, and more episodes and content are on the way for this fall and for 2020. The show was originally based on the 2002 animated film “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which was narrated by Matt Damon and nominated for an Oscar. Here’s the full synopsis for the untitled film:

When headstrong Lucky Prescott is forced to move from her big city home to a small frontier town, she becomes a complete fish-out-of-water. But her life is changed forever when she makes new friends and forms an inseparable bond with a wild mustang named Spirit.  When Spirit’s herd is captured by rustlers, the girls and their horses must undertake the adventure of a lifetime to save them.

Elaine Bogan (“Tales of Arcadia: Trollhunters,” “3 Below,” “Dragons: Race to the Edge”) will direct the “Spirit Riding Free” film. Karen Foster is producing and Ennio Torresan serves as co-director.

“The Bad Guys” is based on the book series by Blabey about five notorious bad guys – Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula – who after a lifetime of pulling legendary heists try to settle down and do good.

The book series is spread across 10 “episodes” and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

Pierre Perifel, an animator on the “Kung Fu Panda” films, will make his feature directorial debut on “The Bad Guys,” working off a script by “Tropic Thunder” and “Get Hard” writer Etan Cohen and Hilary Winston (“Community,” “My Name is Earl”). Damon Ross and Rebecca Huntley are producing. Blabey is executive producing along with Cohen, Patrick Hughes and Jeff Berg.

DreamWorks Animation just released “Abominable,” which so far has made $76.3 million worldwide.

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