In some ways, Orion is just what you’d expect from an elementary school-aged kid: shy, a little awkward, and harboring a secret first crush on someone. But upon getting to know Orion, you’d be surprised by just how many fears this kid has: bees, dogs, the ocean, murderous gutter clowns (yes, murderous gutter clowns). What Orion’s most afraid of though, is the dark — and then the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays him a visit.
Such is the crux of DreamWorks Animation’s new original film Orion and the Dark, which drops on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 2. And Scary Mommy has an exclusive clip of the sweet movie to get your whole family hyped to watch it this weekend.
What’s Orion and the Dark about?
Based on the children’s book by the same name, the movie follows one giant first adventure for Orion. Leading the way? His biggest fear: the dark. When the embodiment of darkness arrives to greet Orion, he scoops him up and takes him across the globe on a wild ride to confront each of his fears.
Along the way, Orion will realize that life can be too fun and too short to worry about what might hurt you. But can he learn to embrace Dark and the lessons it teaches him along the way? Or will he be doomed to forever freeze in panic at the first perceived danger he encounters? Looks like it’s time for Orion to grow up. (But just a little.)
In the exclusive clip below, Orion’s parents find his field trip permission trip slip crumbled up and hidden between the cushions of the couch. While most kids live for field trip days — the equivalent of skipping class with the approval of both your parents and teachers — Orion doesn’t quite feel the same. Dad signs the slip, and he and Mom gently nudge Orion in the direction of bravery.
Orion just isn’t sure his parents truly understand how absolutely terrifying the world can be, or that they’re aware of the hidden dangers only he seems to notice. Will Orion find fun on his field trip? Will the Dark do his job to win over Orion and teach him to let go of his fears and anxieties? Only one way to find out…
If you’re the parent of a tween, that entire scene likely feels familiar. But although adolescent anxiety is very real and very common, you don’t often see it depicted onscreen — especially not as tenderly, thoughtfully, or accessible for all ages as in Orion and the Dark.
The movie creates a space for parents to talk to their elementary- and middle-school-aged kids about mental health, and that alone makes this movie worth a watch.
Who voices the characters in Orion and the Dark?
DreamWorks and Netflix assembled quite the cast of characters to voice roles in Orion and the Dark. The title young lead is voiced by Jacob Tremblay, whose name you’ll recognize from his roles in films like Room, Wonder, and The Little Mermaid. Older Orion is voiced by Colin Hanks. And Orion’s hopeful new friend, Dark, is voiced by Paul Walter Hauser, who has previously starred in Richard Jewell and Cruella.
Along the way on Orion’s giant adventure, you’ll also be introduced to:
- Dreams — Angela Bassett
- Light — Ike Barinholtz
- Sleep — Natasia Demetriou
- Unexplained Noises — Golda Rosheuvel
- Insomnia — Nat Faxon
- Quiet — Aparna Nancherla
You’ll meet Orion’s well-intentioned mom and dad, too, voiced by Carla Gugino and Matt Dellapina.
When can you watch Orion and the Dark?
Orion and the Dark will officially release on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 2, kicking off another month of binge-worthy kid-friendly content on the streamer.