Netflix’s ‘My Father’s Dragon’ Animated Movie: Everything We Know So Far

my father's dragon netflix animated film

My Father’s Dragon – Pictures: Cartoon Saloon / Netflix

Oscar-nominated studio Cartoon Saloon is coming to Netflix soon with a brand new feature film project that adapts My father’s dragon† Emily Horgan, an independent media consultant, walks us through everything we know so far as of June 2022.

My father’s dragon was announced by Netflix in a November 2018 animation pipeline fanfare and was originally slated for a 2021 release (though more on that in a second).

There have been numerous statements from creatives and executives describing the film as “very ambitious,” so let’s take a look at everything we know so far about it.


What’s? My father’s dragon about?

My father’s dragon iIt is based on a 1948 illustrated children’s book written by Ruth Stiles Gannett. It is a recipient of the prestigious Newbery Medal recognizing a “distinguished contribution to American children’s literature.”

Interestingly, two more recent winners have also been adapted into children’s films for Disney+, The one and only Ivan and Flora & Ulysses


Who makes? My father’s dragon

Cartoon Saloon is a small Irish animation studio based in Kilkenny. They rose to prominence in 2010 when a film they produced, The Secret of Kells, unexpectedly landed an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.

Their track record has been consistent with every feature they’ve produced ever since, enjoying an Academy nod. Wolfwalkers, their most recent film, is no exception and has a shot at winning this year’s awards. It’s currently available on Apple TV+ if you’d like to try it.

cartoon salon studio photo

Cartoon Saloon Studio Photo


Which talent is connected?

The movie is directed by Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey. Twomey also directed their earlier films Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner, produced by Angelina Jolie. She was mentioned by Ted Sarandos in a recent Netflix earnings call as one of the greatest animators in the world.

The script is by Pixar alum Meg LeFauve, who wrote: Inside out and The good dinosaur† Hair Inside out colleague, Ronnie Del Carmen, also signed an overall Netflix deal. Boasting work with a host of A-list Hollywood talents, Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Picture are involved as producers alongside Cartoon Saloon’s Tomm Moore.


What is the plot of? My father’s dragon

The summary of the novel is:

“A young boy runs away from home to rescue an abused baby dragon who is being held captive to serve as a free twenty-four-hour seven-day-a-week ferry for the lazy wild animals that live on Wild Island”

It’s a fantastic story, set in the wild on Wild Island. In the 10 chapters, the main character, Elmer Elevator, encounters an assortment of animals with different dispositions, including a cat, tigers, a gorilla and of course a dragon. The dragon’s appearance is described in the book as follows:

“He has a long tail and yellow and blue stripes. His horn and eyes and the bottoms of his feet are bright red and he has golden wings.”

Based on the synopsis, it sounds like the Netflix version stays pretty true to all of this:

“My Father’s Dragon tells the story of a young runaway Elmer Elevator, who sets out on Wild Island in search of a captive dragon and finds much more than he ever imagined.”


Who is the cast for? My father’s dragon on Netflix?

The cast for the film was confirmed in early 2022 with an all-star cast (including many familiar faces to Netflix fans) assembled for voting.

Here’s the rundown of who’s in the cast:

  • Jacob Tremblay
  • Holes Matarazzo (Weird stuff
  • Golshifteh Farahani
  • Dianne Wiest (The Birdcage
  • Rita Moreno
  • Chris O’Dowd (The IT crowd
  • Judy Greer (13 Going through 30)
  • Alan Cumming
  • Yara Shahidic
  • Jackie Earle Haley
  • Mary Kay Place
  • Leighton Meester (the roommate
  • Spence Moore II
  • Adam Brody
  • Charliene Yi
  • Maggie Lincoln
  • Jack Smith
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Star Trek
  • Ian McShane (dead wood
my father's dragon cast grid netflix

Cast grid for Netflix’s My Fathers Dragon


Where is My Father’s Dragon in production? When will it come out on Netflix?

Despite the announcement by Netflix in 2018, Cartoon Saloon’s development of the film can be tracked as early as 2016. The Studio’s key creatives said they were in production for “a few months” in January 2019.

This seems to be very ongoing based on current recruiting. Cartoon Saloon is slated to deliver a movie episode for the preschool series, Puffin Rock (also on Netflix), in anticipation of this. According to insiders, the film would not be released in its originally planned 2021 slot, but in 2022, which has subsequently been confirmed as part of Netflix’s 2022 film series.

Looking forward to watching My father’s dragon on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.