Film Review: Orion And The Dark. When DreamWorks Does Pixar.

Published: February 24, 2024

In a day and age when Pixar’s latest films aren’t as highly regarded as their previous work, who of all companies steps in to fill that void? DreamWorks, of course. Yeah, it sounds surprising, but DreamWorks’ latest animated feature, Orion and the Dark, gives off a familiar feeling that audiences have been missing.

Based on the Emma Yarlett book of the same name, Orion and the Dark follows a young boy named Orion who is afraid of literally everything, but he is the most afraid of the dark. One night the personification of darkness has had enough of Orion’s constant screaming and makes a deal with Orion to help him overcome his fears within 24 hours.

Along the way, we meet other nighttime entities such as Sweet Dreams, Sleep, Quiet, Insomnia, and Unexplained Noises. At first, they don’t take a liking to Orion due to his constant outbursts of fear but he eventually learns how to control his emotions they all start to get along. However, they can’t stay in one place for too long as the daytime entity Light has the power to destroy Darkness if he gets too close. 

Without going into spoilers, the film doesn’t tell a straightforward story in the traditional sense. This is due in part to the film’s writer, Charlie Kaufman, who is known for his work writing and directing out there films such as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In fact, this is his second animated feature, the first one being 2015’s Anomalisa

Overall Rating: 7/10

The film gives a good look into the mind of a child who is afraid of the world around him, mostly due to not knowing enough about the world. But embarking on an out-of-this-world journey opens up those locked gates, helping him to grow and giving him the courage to do things in life.

The film was released on Netflix on February 2nd, which is surprising because DreamWorks is owned by NBCUniversal, which has its own streaming service, Peacock. It is disappointing that this film didn’t receive a wide theatrical release, as it would have been great to see the imaginative visuals on the big screen.

Have you seen the film yet? What did you think of it? Is it something that you would recommend? Let us know.

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