Breaking News – Disney Branded Television and Baobab Studios begin development of animated anthology series “The Witchverse”, based on Emmy Award-winning VR short “Baba Yaga” for Disney +


Courtesy of Baobab Studios

Disney Branded Television is in development with nine-time Emmy (R) award-winning international animation studio Baobab Studios on “The Witchverse,” an all-new animated anthology series based on Baobab’s acclaimed and award-winning interactive experience. Studios “Baba Yaga.”

In close collaboration with Baobab Studios, Disney Television Animation is overseeing the development of the project for Disney +. Eric Darnell, writer and director of “Baba Yaga”, “Madagascar” and “Antz” and co-founder and creative director of Baobab, will executive produce the series.

“The Witchverse” is a worldwide celebration of the international cultural phenomena of witches, their magic and their universal connection to nature. Each witch-i-sode will comically explore and overturn common misconceptions surrounding global witch mythology and lore from a mix of cultures and perspectives across the globe.

Ayo Davis, President of Disney Branded Television, said, “We are inspired by Baobab’s bold creative vision that redefines, deepens and expands narrative about witches in a transformative and entertaining way filled with humor and heart.

The three-time Emmy Award-winning virtual reality experience and animated short “Baba Yaga”, which serves as the inspiration for “The Witchverse”, is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend Baba Yaga, an enigmatic witch who uses her powers to stop villagers whose settlement encroaches on her enchanted forest. The immersive experience comes to life with illustrative 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles and explores themes of empowerment and the environment. “Baba Yaga” will serve as the starting point for the first episode of the new series.

“Disney is the perfect partner to work with us on one of our most creative and ambitious storytelling projects,” said Eric Darnell, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Baobab Studios. “They have the unique ability to create new worlds like no one else on this planet, and in this collaboration, ‘Baba Yaga’ has the potential to be a breath of fresh air for anyone who enjoys fairy tales. , young and old, from different cultures. ”

About Disney Brand TV

Disney Branded TV encompasses the creative storytellers and content production and marketing teams responsible for Disney Branded TV series, movies and other programming spanning live-action, animated, and unscripted formats. The group powers the Disney + streaming platform and the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior linear networks with content aimed at children, tweens, teens and families, with stories that are imaginative, ambitious and reflect their world and their experiences. His recent projects include “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”, “Monsters at Work”, “The Mysterious Benedict Society” and “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends”. Disney Branded Television has created some of the most iconic and award-winning properties and franchises, including Peabody Award winners “Doc McStuffins” and “The Owl House”; the winners of the “Big City Greens” and “Elena of Avalor” Emmy Awards; the beloved “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts as well as the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) franchise, consisting of over 100 titles.

About Disney +

Disney + is the streaming home for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic movies and shows, as well as The Simpsons and more. In some international markets, it also includes the new brand of general entertainment content, Star. The Walt Disney Company’s flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service, Disney + is part of the Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution segment. The service offers ad-free streaming as well as an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature films, documentaries, animated and live-action series, as well as short-lived content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney + is also the exclusive home to stream The Walt Disney Studios’ latest releases. Disney + is available as a standalone streaming service or as part of The Disney Bundle which gives subscribers access to Disney +, Hulu, and ESPN +. To learn more, visit or find the Disney + app on most mobile and connected TV devices.

About “Baba Yaga”

The Interactive VR Experience of “Baba Yaga” – Written / Directed by Eric Darnell, starring all-female voice cast by Kate Winslet, Daisy Ridley, starring Jennifer Hudson and Glenn Close, and an executive produced by Hudson, Larry Cutler, Maureen Fan and Kane Lee – is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend brought to life with illustrative 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles, creating a modern visual language for the virtual reality inspired by classic animation. Leveraging the studio’s award-winning animation pioneers and interactive game veterans, “Baba Yaga” blends theater, cinema, interactivity, AI and animation in a unique experience that explores themes of l empowerment and the environment. It is currently available on the Oculus Quest.

About Baobab Studios

Founded by Maureen Fan, Eric Darnell, and Larry Cutler in 2015, nine-time Emmy (R) winner Baobab Studios is the world’s leading independent interactive animation studio. With a mission to inspire you to dream and bring out your sense of wonder by making you count, Baobab Studios has released eight projects to date – Invasion !, Asteroids !, Jack, Crow: The Legend, Bonfire, Baba Yaga , Paper Birds, and Namoo – all to critical acclaim and commercial success. Named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company of 2018, its award-winning works (Traditional, VR, and AR) have been viewed millions of times and have featured talent as diverse as John Legend, Oprah, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, Liza Koshy, Tye Sheridan, Elizabeth Banks, Ethan Hawke, Lupita Nyong’o, Ali Wong and Edward Norton. Their intellectual property is currently adapted in books (MacMillan, Penguin Random House), in films (Roth / Kirsch, Disney), in original series with premium streamers and in games.

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