An American teenager’s bond with her horse and a clumsy young witch will figure at the center of two new series aimed at tweens that Netflix has set for 2017.
The streaming-video-on-demand giant said it would add two new live-action series to a growing lineup of offerings for older kids. The untitled “Horse Mystery Project” and “The Worst Witch” both tell coming-of-age stories about teenagers learning to reckon with life challenges.
“Horse Mystery” follows 15-year-old Zoe, who develops a special bond with a dangerous horse named Raven at a stable on an island off the coast of England. The connection between girl and horse helps Zoe grapple with difficult family issues as well as develop a passion for riding. In “Worst Witch,” based on the popular books by author Jill Murphy, trainee Mildred Hubble makes her way though fun and drama at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. Mildred is the clumsiest witch in school, and creates magical mayhem in a story aimed to resonate with anyone who has ever worried about not being good enough.
“Our mission of creating stories and characters younger members can relate to, and even aspire to be, comes through in these projects,” said Andy Yeatman, director of global kids content for Netflix, in a prepared statement. “While set in very different contexts, both shows center around characters who are learning to deal with and overcome hardship, while also enjoying the journey and all its surprises.” Netflix said the two new series expand a selection of live-action original series aimed at tweens. Other Netflix titles designed for this demographic include: “Degrassi: Next Class,” “Project Mc2,” “Lost & Found Music Studios” and “Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure.”
“Horse Mystery” is backed by Lime Pictures, an All3Media company. The series stars Jaylen Barron as Zoe, as well as Celine Buckens and Kerry Ingram. The series is executive produced by Rebecca Hodgson, Kate Little and Claire Poyser for Lime Pictures and directed by Paul Norton Walker. The 10-episode series will be available to Netflix members worldwide in the Spring of 2017.
“The Worst Witch” is produced by CBBC Productions in collaboration with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and Netflix. It star Bella Ramsey as Mildred, Clare Higgins as Miss Cackle and Raquel Cassidy as Deputy Head Miss Hardbroom. The 12-episode series will be feature visual effects from Milk (Ex Machina). The series will be available to Netflix members around the globe in 2017, and in the UK and Germany after its premiere on ZDF and CBBC.