Netflix Conjures Up LGBTQ Graphic Novel The Witch Boy as an Animated Movie Musical

Nice view! Nice sky slug!
Nice view! Nice sky slug!
Image: Netflix

Is it “announce all the new animation” week at Netflix? Because we just learned that Kong Skull Island and the Tomb Raider games are getting anime series, and now Molly Ostertag’s best-selling YA graphic novel The Witch Boy joins these ever-growing ranks with an animated movie musical. You know...Disney style.

If you haven’t read the original 2017 comic (or its sequels), here’s the official synopsis:

In a secret, magical community where girls are born to be witches and boys grow into shapeshifters, Aster is surprised to discover his emerging and extraordinary witch powers. When a mysterious danger threatens his world, Aster must embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind himself, his powers, and everything that is magical.


Although Netflix is being irksomely if expectedly coy about it, The Witch Boy is also a pointedly inclusive story, one that shows the importance of LGBTQ acceptance. It’s clearly one of the things that drew director Munkyu Lee to the project. “The connection between this dream, my experiences, and Aster and Juniper’s story is what draws me to this film every day,” Lee said in a statement provided via press release. “I am grateful to be creating this with the wonderful team at Netflix. My hope is that this film, by celebrating queerness and ‘otherness’, will come to audiences around the world as something truly special.”

Oh, and the three-sister pop band Haim is listed as writing original music for the film, but whether that includes the story-based music that will be sung in the movie is unknown. I’d guess yes.

I love the idea of a traditional animated movie musical in the classic Disney mold that gives kids the fictional structure they love but with a firm message of celebrating otherness, as Lee put it. We’ll bring you more on The Witch Boy as and when we learn it.


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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

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I’m sure that this isn’t the case, but damn does that synopsis make the whole thing feel like a story about a dude getting powers usually reserved for women, proving to be better at them than every woman ever was, and being the super duper special chosen one who saves the world as a result. Like I said, I doubt this is what the book is about, but criminy that's a badly worded synopsis.