Netflix is doubling down on interactive content for kids. The streaming service announced a new interactive animated show on Tuesday dubbed “Battle Kitty” from Matt Layzell. The company didn’t share a premiere date for the show yet.
“Netflix has given me the incredible opportunity to help change how young people see themselves,” said Layzell. “Like Kitty, an aspirational underdog with a big spirit of determination, I want kids who feel small to realize instead that they can stand strong, have friends, and go on to do amazing things.”
The idea for “Battle Kitty” came out of “The Adventures of Kitty & Orc,” which Layzell had produced for his Instagram account. “Battle Kitty” will be his first run as a showrunner, and he will also serve as the show’s executive producer.
The announcement comes just a day after another interactive announcement: On Monday, Netflix announced “You vs. Wild” as its next interactive story for adult and family audiences. The show, which will come to Netflix on April 10, stars survival expert Bear Grylls, and offers viewers a chance to find their own path through each of the eight episodes.
The company made the announcements at its Lab Day, a two-day press event for journalists from around the world. During the event, executives also hinted at plans to develop other interactive shows for a variety of audiences, including possibly romance and horror. The service also has at least one more still-untitled interactive in the works.
Netflix has been investing not only into interactive content, but also into the tools used to tell these kinds of branched narratives. For the production of “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” the company developed a tool called Branch Manager that helps to keep all the threads together.
“It’s a production tool that standardizes our workflow,” said Dave Schlafman, Netflix interactive content design manager, during a demo Monday afternoon. “It enables them to design a flow.”
Schlafman said the company was continuously working on adding new features to branch manager, which can then lead to different artistic decisions. For instance, for “Bandersnatch,” Netflix developed the possibility to add up to 4 different choices. “It’s still really early days,” he concluded.