City of Ghosts (TV series)

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City of Ghosts
City of Ghosts poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Genre
Created byElizabeth Ito
Directed byLuis Grane (supervising)
Voices of
  • Blue Chapman
  • Kirikou S'hai Muldrow
  • August Nuñez
  • Michael Ren
  • Angel Chipagua
ComposerMichael Andrews
Country of origin
  • United States
  • France
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
  • Elizabeth Ito
  • Melissa Cobb
AnimatorChromosphere Studio
EditorHugo Morales
Running time18–20 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture formatHDTV 1080p
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)

City of Ghosts is a hybrid French-American animated/mockumentary streaming television series developed by Elizabeth Ito for Netflix.[3] Co-produced by TeamTO and Netflix Animation, the series premiered on March 5, 2021.[4]

In 2022, the series won a Peabody Award for Children & Youth Programming.[5]

Premise[edit]

A group of kids, in this hybrid animated mockumentary series, discover stories around Los Angeles by directly communicating with ghosts who inhabit the city.[6][7]

Characters[edit]

Ghost Club[edit]

  • Zelda (voiced by August Nuñez[8]), a young child and lead detective of the Ghost Club.
  • Thomas (voiced by Blue Chapman[2]), a 7-year-old non-binary child who uses they/them pronouns, and member of the Ghost Club.[9] Thomas mentions their pronouns briefly at the beginning of the second episode.
  • Eva (voiced by Kirikou S'hai Muldrow[10]), a 5-year-old child and member of the Ghost Club.[11]
  • Peter (voiced by Michael Ren[2]), a 6-year-old child and member of the Ghost Club with Eva, Zelda, and Thomas.[11]
  • Jasper (voiced by Honor Calderon), a 7-year-old child and member of the Ghost Club with Eva, Zelda,Thomas and Peter. His first appearance is in episode four "Tovangaar", where he is a child who asks the Ghost Club for help and reconnects to his Tongva roots.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Chef Jo (voiced by Isa Fabro[8]), a Filipina chef who owns a café in Boyle Heights.
  • Mariko (voiced by Kuniko Yagi[8]), friend of Chef Jo who contacts Zelda and asks them for help in tracking down a ghost in the café.
  • Jordan (voiced by Angel Chipagua[2]) is Zelda's brother and operates a hand-held camera which records the Ghost Club's activities.[12]
  • Janet (voiced by Judy Hayashi[13]), a ghost living in Jo's café.
  • Sam (voiced by Teagan Meza[14]), an eight-year-old skateboarder who is spending time with a ghost.
  • John "JP" P. (voiced by John Pham), the owner of a skate shop in Venice, California, and a friend of Sam.
  • Sonya (voiced by Tomeicko Hawkins[15]), owns a vegan café in Leimert Park.
  • Jasper (voiced by Honor Calderon[9]), a child who asks the Ghost Club for help and reconnects to his Tongva roots.
  • Zelda's Mom (voiced by Sandra Equihua[16]) is the mother of Zelda.
  • Nancy Sekizawa (voiced by herself[17]) is a former punk rocker and mother of Zen.
  • Yulissa (voiced by Yulissa Maqueos[2]) is a teacher of Oaxacan music, looking for her friend Chepe who communicates with people by whistling.
  • Colton (voiced by Gage Fensler[2])
  • Josh "Bagel" Klassman (voiced by himself), a professional skater, surfer, and photographer.
  • Aawkut (voiced by L. Frank Manrique[9]) is a ghost in a form of a crow who appears in the episode "Tovaangar".
  • Walter (voiced by Adam Muto[17])
  • Lena (voiced by Gala Parras-Kim[9])

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"The Sort of Japanese Restaurant"Elizabeth ItoElizabeth Ito, Joanne Shen, Seo Kim, Ako Castuera & Jesse FlintMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
In Boyle Heights, a restaurant has a phantom come during the night, annoying the shop's owner. The Ghost Club comes to the scene to find out what is really going on.
2"Venice"Ako CastueraElizabeth Ito, Joanne Shen, Suzie Vlcek & Ako CastueraMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
In Venice Beach, the Ghost Club investigates the disappearance of a skater kid and talks with two spirits who were former skaters.
3"Leimert Park"Bob LoganElizabeth Ito, Joanne Shen, Suzie Vlcek & Bob LoganMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
The Ghost Club is called to investigate after a cafre experiences drumming which continues through the night.
4"Tovaangar"Ako CastueraElizabeth Ito, Suzie Vlcek, Ako Castuera & Joanne ShenMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
Jasper contacts the Ghost Club and they help him connect with his long-lost ancestors.
5"Bob & Nancy"Elizabeth Ito & Pendleton WardElizabeth Ito, Joanne Shen, Suzie Vlcek & Pendleton WardMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
Assisting a marionette theater, the Ghost Club is able to stop a daughter and her mother (a ghost) from fighting each other.
6"Koreatown"Luis Grane, Elizabeth Ito & Ako CastueraElizabeth Ito, Joanne Shen, Suzie Vlcek, Luis Grane & Ako CastueraMarch 5, 2021 (2021-03-05)
A music teacher comes to the Ghost Club, asking for help in finding her missing friend, which is a ghost.

Production[edit]

The series was announced by Netflix in May 2019, with Adventure Time writer Elizabeth Ito as showrunner.[6]

The show's backgrounds come from photographs taken by Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin, then painted over at the Los Angeles studio of Chromosphere Studio and the character animation is by the French company, TeamTO.[18] The animation supervisor of TeamTo, Mariah Luna, said that they talked with Ito and Luis Grane, supervising director, of the show, informing their animation. The production manager, Jaimy Nikijuluw, adding that they were often in contact with Ito and Grane until the end of production of each episode. Guillaume Hellouin, president/co-founder of TeamTO said that only a small team worked on the show, one of the smallest they've "ever worked with" while Nikijuluw added they had weekly calls with those at Netflix and Chromosphere Studio.

Release[edit]

The series was released on March 5, 2021 on Netflix.[4] A trailer was released on February 4.[19] Selections from the series will be presented at the San Francisco International Film Festival's Schools at the Festival program in April 2021.[20]

Reception[edit]

The series was positively received. Mashable called the show a "warm, sunny, and soft" and praised the show's pacing, wittiness, humor, and the voice cast.[2] They also said it makes topics like discrimination, cultural appropriation, gentrification and historical erasure understandable for those at a young age. Vulture praised the series as a "lovely and refreshing vision for children’s entertainment" that adults can enjoy which is crafted like a nonfiction production.[9] Wired described the series as "full of big emotional wallops and...narrative specificity" and called it delightful, arguing that it proposes a new way of thinking "about cities, ethnicity, and history," geared toward kids.[1] Wired also called the show a "multicultural melange." The Capital Times called the show "warm and huggable" and for all ages.[21] Los Angeles Times called the series a "gentle love letter" to Los Angeles and the diverse communities within the city, accessible to kids and adults.[22] Animation World Network praised the animation style and background, saying the latter has "the aesthetic of a pop-up book."[23] The New York Times recommended the series to fans of Bluey, Molly of Denali, NPR podcasts and Vida.[7]

The series got nominated for 4 Children's and Family Emmy Awards including Outstanding Animated Series at the 1st Children's and Family Emmy Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rogers, Adam (March 10, 2021). "Netflix's City of Ghosts Maps a Better Way to See LA—and Everywhere Else". Wired. Archived from the original on March 22, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Chatterjee, Pramit (March 8, 2021). "'City Of Ghosts' Review: This Netflix Animated Show Genuinely Feels Like A Soft, Warm Hug To The Soul". Mashable. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (May 23, 2019). "Netflix Orders 'City Of Ghosts' Kids Animated Series From 'Adventure Time' Alum". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Milligan, Mercedes (February 4, 2021). "Trailer: Elizabeth Ito's 'City of Ghosts' Haunts Netflix March 5". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  5. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 9, 2022). "Peabody Awards: The Complete List Of 2022 Winners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Netflix Orders First-of-Its-Kind Hybrid Kids Animated Series City of Ghosts From First-Time Showrunner Elizabeth Ito". Netflix Media Center. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Lyons, Margaret (March 11, 2021). "How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 11, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Oriel, Christina M. (March 10, 2021). "Pinay chef Isa Fabro voices restaurant owner in Netflix's new animated series 'City of Ghosts'". Asian Journal. Archived from the original on March 22, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e Aguilar, Carlos (March 31, 2021). "How City of Ghosts Crafted an Inclusive Ode to Los Angeles's Overlooked Past". Vulture. Archived from the original on April 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Gajjar, Saloni (February 5, 2021). "WandaVision wraps up just as Raya officially joins Disney". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on March 10, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Jao, Carren (March 4, 2021). "Animated Series 'City of Ghosts' Explores L.A.'s Rich Histories for Kids". KCET. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Valdivia, Pablo (March 18, 2021). ""City Of Ghosts" On Netflix Is Unlike Any Kid's Show I've Seen Before". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "City Of Ghosts [Review]". Mag the Weekly. March 19, 2021. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "So incredibly proud and stoked for Teag she stars as "Sam" the cute little skater girl in the animated series "City Of Ghosts" streaming now on Netflix! She's in the 2nd episode titled "Venice"... 🤙🏼🛹💗🤗 It was so fun to watch the whole project come together. And of course everyone fell in love with Teag's infectious personality! 😜 Such a pleasure to work with all the amazing people on this project! Huge Thank you to @lemontagnecasting @ottersnaps & @akocastuera for being so insanely awesome! And to all of the production crew and everyone involved thank you for letting Teag be a part of the fun journey! 🙏👊🏼 #TeaganMeza #age8 #skatergirl #thankful #blessed #Cityofghosts #netflix #childrensanimation @netflix @netflixfamily @cityofghostsnetflix @daewonsong". Instagram. March 19, 2021. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021.
  15. ^ "Loved this experience.they asked me about Leimert park, and myself and the drum circles...man! What a blessing #kirikumuldrow #jmd#cityofghosts #tomeicko1 #Netflix #ottersnaps#tomeicko1". Instagram. March 5, 2021. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021.
  16. ^ Jorge R. Gutierrez [@mexopolis] (March 6, 2021). "*the muse plays Zelda's mom in the spectacular City of Ghosts by the spectacular @kikutowne" (Tweet). Retweeted by yes. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021 – via Twitter. He calls his wife, Sandra Equihua, "muse"
  17. ^ a b Daughtery, Brooke (March 18, 2021). ""City of Ghosts" Netflix Review". Pop Culture Leftovers. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021.
  18. ^ De Wit, Alex Dudok (March 26, 2021). "Inside The Production Of 'City Of Ghosts' With French Animation Studio TeamTO". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on March 28, 2021.
  19. ^ Netflix Futures (February 4, 2021). City of Ghosts | New Series Trailer | Netflix Futures. YouTube. Archived from the original on March 26, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Ferme, Antonio (March 24, 2021). "San Francisco Film Festival Releases Lineup and All-New Hybrid Format". Variety. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  21. ^ Thomas, Rob (March 16, 2021). "Netflix's City of Ghosts Maps a Better Way to See LA—and Everywhere Else". The Capital Times. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021.
  22. ^ Brown, Tracy (March 12, 2021). "The story behind Netflix's quirky, kid-friendly answer to 'whitewashed' L.A." Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 31, 2021.
  23. ^ Davis, Victoria (March 9, 2021). "How Netflix's 'City of Ghosts' Takes a Kid's-Eye View of the Supernatural". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on March 10, 2021.

External links[edit]