Stray, the hit cat simulator platformer, is getting an animated film adaptation. According to Entertainment Weekly, Annapurna Animation is launching its next series of films, starting with BlueTwelve’s award-winning 2022 title, in which you play as a drone-equipped ginger cat lost in the neon-lit alleys of a forgotten cybercity and trying to return home back while avoiding machines and robots. Robert Baird, who co-heads the department with Andrew Millstein, described the film’s style as having a “hopepunk” touch that relies on optimism as a weapon. The latter added that Stray was the first choice simply because he was “very popular.” ‘
“This game is all about what makes us human, and there are no humans in it,” Baird said in an interview with EW. “It’s a buddy comedy about a cat and a robot, and the dynamic is so hilarious. So there’s some comedy in this film, but there’s not a single human in this film.” One of the main reasons for Stray’s groundbreaking popularity was that it made you see the world through a cat’s eyes, in addition to reacting in every possible feline way – be it by scratching on walls, pushing artifacts off tall objects, or even being able to “meow” on command. At first there is no explanation as to why there are no humans in this dystopian world, but you must rely on your instinctive and animalistic curiosity and solve the puzzles to unravel the greater mystery.
Baird admitted that at times he felt like the task was “unsolvable,” which is understandable considering Stray relies on environmental storytelling while the majority of his dialogue is reserved for B-12, a drone carrying the consciousness of a human scientist attaches itself to the cat’s back. All of this needs to be integrated into a feature-length film, and deciding whether such a concept would work with mainstream audiences was part of the process for Baird. He and the aforementioned Millstein previously worked at Blue Sky Studios – best known for “Ice Age” – before it was closed by Disney in 2021. They later founded Annapurna Animation, which made its debut Nimona for Netflix. In its futuristic medieval world, where a knight (Riz Ahmed) is framed for a tragic murder he didn’t commit, the only person who can prove his innocence happens to be Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a mysterious shapeshifting creature , which he swore to destroy.
The report also mentions that director Nick Bruno has joined Annapurna Animation as an in-house filmmaker and is already developing an untitled original animated film that is described as “very conceptually high-quality” and “warm-hearted.” Meanwhile, Ice Age director Robert Wedge is currently working on an animated title called FOO – short for Fish out of Water. Even the elevator pitch is quite literal, in the sense that it follows the first fish to ever venture out of a body of water onto land, only to immediately regret it and hilariously try to make it back.
News of the Stray animated film follows several other video game adaptations this year that have been remarkably successful. The Super Mario Bros. movie joined the billion-dollar club at the global box office, while HBO’s The Last of Us received a total of 24 nominations at the upcoming Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Drama Series. . There was also the Gran Turismo film, whose advertising campaign was heavily affected by the ongoing labor strikes in Hollywood.
Stray is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. There is currently no release window for the animated film adaptation.