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A hardened war horse transported away from battle finds herself in a land that’s inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all shapes and sizes.

Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she’s ever faced before.

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This isn’t an animated epic series so much as it is a pie-in-the-face loveletter to them. Horse (voiced by Kimiko Glenn) finds herself separated from her Rider (voiced by Jessie Mueller) in the heat of battle through a magical accident, and finds herself in the company of creatures who look like they were assembled from spare parts from a child’s animal playset. They’re her new friends, and with their help, she’ll find all the missing pieces to the power totem that will bring Horse back to her universe and to her Rider – if they can all just stop singing long enough to do it.

Created by Megan Nicole Dong, Centaurworld also features the voices of Megan Hilty (Wammawink), Parvesh Cheena (Zulius), Josh Radnor (Durpleton), Megan Nicole Dong (Glendale), Chris Diamantopoulos (Ched). The series is the work of Dreamworks Animation.

Dong grew through the ranks as an artist on DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie before becoming a supervising director on Netflix’s Pinky Malinky.

At the Annecy International Animation Film Festival today, Dong called Centaurworld “an action adventure fish-out-of water story” and a “road trip musical fantasy” with some sci-fi.

Her inspiration for the story came from growing up Asian American in Southern California under “a lot of pressure academically.” As a high school freshman, a scheduling snafu landed her in show choir class and “changed a lot of things in my life in a positive way.”

The goggle-eyed character designs are in sharp contrast to the serious world of epic heroics from which the lead character Horse comes. They’re the work of Alex Myung, who designed all the characters, props and backgrounds. He’s no stranger to the art, having created many of the now-iconic background and scenic designs for Steven Universe.

This is going to be one of those series that is way better written than it needs to be, and has much better music than we’d have any right to expect. Toby Chu composes for all 20 episodes. The concentration on music production value alone should make this series one worth watching.

Centaurworld makes its big, adventurous, goofy, musical debut exclusively on Netflix on July 30, 2021.

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