The trailer for Next Gen starts out with, “Ladies and Gentlemen, are you ready to see the next big thing?” Well, Next Gen might just be it. The crystal clear Netflix original animated movie rivals the best from Disney and Pixar.
Blending shades of E.T., Transformers, and every other robot friendship film, the plot of Next Gen follows Mai, a teenager who is refreshingly opposed to the saturation and intrusion of technology. When robots start distracting parents from parenting, it’s time to make a change. Even worse, when your toilet welcomes you with a wave and a smile, it’s time to go off the grid.
Because of Mai’s capriciousness, she ends up in a situation where she encounters a top-secret robot called 7723. Much like other human and robot friend movies, Mai forms a bond that helps her in the future. In fact, the pair take on enemies with the protectiveness of Lost in Space, but without such a menacing figure. Think Wall-E as an 8-ft bodyguard.
Directed by Kevin R. Adams, who has been involved with the animation in the Simpsons, Tarzan 2, and The Emperor’s New Groove, the fate of Next Gen appears to be in good hands. Voicing the two primary characters are John Krasinski as 7723, and Charlyne Yi as Mai. Of course, everyone recognizes Krasinski, but Yi, perhaps best known as the awkward stoner friend in Knocked Up, is a delightful addition. Michael Pena, Jason Sudeikis, and Constance Wu provide supporting voices.
Next Gen premieres on Netflix September 7.