Disney Television Animation is overseeing the development of the project for Disney+. Eric Darnell, writer-director of Baba Yaga, Madagascar, Antz and Baobab’s co-founder and chief creative officer, will executive-produce the series.
The Witchverse is described as a global celebration of the international cultural phenomena of witches, their magic and their universal connection to nature. Each witch-i-sode will comically explore and upend common misconceptions surrounding global witch mythology and lore from a mélange of cultures and perspectives around the world.
“We’re inspired by Baobab’s bold creative vision that redefines, deepens and expands storytelling about witches in a way that is transformative and entertaining and filled with humor and heart,” said Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television.
The Baba Yaga VR experience and animated short is a contemporary portrayal of Baba Yaga, one of the most popular characters in Eastern European/Slavic folklore, an enigmatic witch who uses her powers to stop villagers whose settlement encroaches upon her enchanted forest. The immersive experience features 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles and explores themes of empowerment and environmentalism. Baba Yaga will serve as a starting point for episode one of the new series.
“Disney is the ideal partner to be working with us on one of our most creatively ambitious storytelling endeavors,” said Darnell. “They uniquely have the ability to create entire 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 everyone who loves fairytales, both young and old, from different cultures.”
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