Chances are that up until a few weeks ago the vast majority of Netflix subscribers had never even heard of Animal Crackers, which seems a little strange when we’re talking about a family-friendly animated comedy based on a well-known brand that featured the vocal talents of John Krasinksi, Emily Blunt, Ian McKellen, Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone.
However, it would be an understatement to say that the $17 million feature suffered from some serious problems trying to make it to the big screen, having initially been scheduled for a theatrical release in April 2017 before financial difficulties saw original distributor Relativity Media pass it off to Serafini Releasing, who promptly went bust.
From there, it was picked up by Entertainment Studios and set for an August 2018 release, where it was abruptly pulled from the calendar just two months before the intended launch. Besides a weak run in China where it brought in just $9.5 million, Animal Crackers was then forgotten about entirely until it arrived on Netflix last month, and then went on to become one of the streaming service’s most popular titles out of absolutely nowhere.
It would be fair to say that nobody was expecting a movie that had been gathering dust for years to dominate the platform’s Top 10 chart for weeks, but co-director Scott Christian Sava was clearly prepared, after he admitted in a recent interview that he already has a sequel written on the off-chance that Netflix decide they want to make a follow-up.
“I’ve got scripts ready. I’ve even got a sequel for Animal Crackers, ready to go. I’m prepared. I keep looking at my phone going, ‘Is it working? Is there something wrong?’. The crazy thing is, you know, it took us six years of production to get here. And the film is at the top of the charts, it’s doing really well. And all my family and friends are calling me saying, ‘Did you hear from Netflix yet?’. I haven’t heard anything. I don’t know if it’s a hit. The craziest thing is, I want another crack at this. I really loved making the movie and all the hardships that we went through, I wanna do it again. From everything I’ve learned, I want to apply what I’ve learned to it, but Hollywood is a fickle place.”
Not only has Animal Crackers proven to be one of the summer’s most popular family films on Netflix, but it also scored decent reviews from critics and currently holds a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 60 on Metacritic. So, with the low budget and high viewership numbers, there could well be some conversations happening behind the scenes now about making a sequel in the near future.