Is Netflix’s ‘Lost Ollie’ Based on a Book?
Fans of Toy Story will want to tune into Netflix‘s adorable new project. On Aug. 2, the streaming service debuted the trailer for Lost Ollie, a four-part live-action and CG-animated series about a toy’s journey home. The emotional and heartwarming story sounds like something straight out of a children’s book — is that where Lost Ollie came from? Read on to find out more about Lost Ollie’s inspirations.
What is ‘Lost Ollie’ about?
Variety first announced Lost Ollie in 2020. Shannon Tindle (Coraline, Kubo and the Two Strings) signed on to create the series, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Peter Ramsey set to direct. Shawn Levy, Josh Barry, Emily Morris, Brandon Oldenburg, and Lampton Enochs also joined as producers.
Starring Jonathan Groff as the voice of Ollie, Lost Ollie follows a stuffed rabbit’s adventure as he finds his way back to his owner, a young boy named Billy (Kesler Talbot). Netflix’s trailer, seen below, shows a bully taking Ollie from Billy and throwing him out of school. When Ollie wakes up in a different place, he becomes determined to go home. Along the way, Ollie faces dangers and meets other stuffed friends.
Lost Ollie also stars Jake Johnson, Gina Rodriguez, Tim Blake Nelson, and Mary J. Blige.
Netflix’s ‘Lost Ollie’ adapts a children’s book
Netflix’s Lost Ollie is an adaptation of William Joyce’s 2016 children’s book, Ollie’s Odyssey. The book has a slightly different premise: Ollie is kidnapped by an evil toy, and Billy must embark on a journey to save Ollie before the toy forgets about Billy entirely.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tindle shared that he wanted Lost Ollie to focus more on loss rather than the whimsy of the book.
“It’s definitely an adventure, it’s definitely fun, but I also wanted it to deal with loss. I don’t think people talk about it enough. I wanted to have something that talked about it right up front, worn on his sleeve,” Tindle explained. “[Joyce] went through the loss of both his wife and his daughter. That’s what I connected to most in the story: the heart of what he had gone through.”
The show embraces similarities to movies like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Homeward Bound’
Of course, fans will likely see the parallels between Lost Ollie and the Toy Story franchise. Tindle doesn’t mind that. The creator continued:
“It was an opportunity rather than an obstacle to have people imagine that this is something more akin to Toy Story, and maybe even Homeward Bound. That way, we could continue to surprise them because the tone has a wide range. Here’s the setup, here’s the big adventure, here’s the fun in episode 1. We continue that quest in episode 2. And then we start to gut punch you a little bit with things that happen to Ollie.”
Lost Ollie premieres on Netflix on Aug. 24.