Skylanders heads to Netflix with Skylanders Academy

Alex Kidman 17 June 2016

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Netflix has teamed up with Activision Blizzard Studios to bring its toys to life game series to the small screen.

The concept of a TV series based on a video game isn’t anything new, as old school fans of the Super Mario Bros. show could tell you, or indeed anyone who’s watched the many Halo spinoff specials more recently could attest.

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The latest game to get the small screen treatment is Activision Blizzard’s Skylanders, by way of Netflix. It’ll appear on the streaming service in full this Spring, with a synopsis that sounds like just about any "Genre: The Next Generation" series you’ve ever heard of:

The series follows the heroic adventures of the Skylanders team, a group of heroes with unique elemental skills and personalities who travel the vast Skylands universe, protecting it from evil-doers and showing the next wave of Academy cadets how to do things the “Skylander way.”

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Existing fans of the series won’t find the familiar voices of Kari Wahlgren or Patrick Warburton in Skylanders Academy, however, with Activision Blizzard studios instead enlisting a variety of celebrity names for voice work. Spyro has enjoyed a few voices in his career (he was David Spade once upon a time, if you like celebrity trivia) but for Skylanders Academy he'll be voiced by Justin Long. He'll be joined by a variety of celebrity voices including Jonathan Banks, Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, Bobcat Goldthwait and, rather bizarrely, James Hetfield. Yes, Metallica’s James Hetfield.

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Activision Blizzard has also recently announced the next installment in the Skylanders game series, with Skylanders Imaginators due to hit store shelves on 13 October in Australia. That means depending on when Skylanders Academy is released, fans of the series may have to split their time between playing and watching episodes.

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