You sink into the sofa and fire up Netflix. You settle in to watch everyone’s favorite swashbuckling feline Puss in Boots. You chuckle as Puss in Boots finds himself in the story of Goldilocks with the Three Bears staring at him.
And then… you’re asked to make a choice:
Should these bears be friends or foes?
It’s actually your choice to make. Your adventure! You decide how the story proceeds and what Puss in Boots does next.
Netflix is excited to announce their first interactive “branching” narrative episodes Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile, where Netflix members are in control of how the stories unfold. The intertwining of the engineers in Silicon Valley and the creative minds in Hollywood has opened up this new world of storytelling possibilities on Netflix.
Content creators have a desire to tell non-linear stories like these, and Netflix provides the freedom to roam, try new things and do their best work. Being an internet-based company enables us to innovate new formats, deliver at scale to millions of members all over the world on multiple device types and, most importantly, learn from it.
Recently, Netflix has been spending a lot of time with these two beloved and adventurous characters, Puss in Boots and Buddy Thunderstruck. They have also spent a lot of time with their equally intrepid creators: DreamWorks Animation Television, American Greetings Entertainment and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. While the mantra of their collaborations has been “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”, the objective has been to bring something completely new to Netflix that pushes the boundaries of storytelling and the way you engage with it.
They’ve done extensive research and talked to lots of kids and parents, collecting qualitative data to better understand if this is something viewers will like – Which choices or storylines will be the most popular? Will the mean bears or the friendly bears be more popular? Are members more compelled to rewatch and uncover all of the different storylines?
The children’s programming space was a natural place for Netflix to start since kids are eager to “play” with their favorite characters and already inclined to tap, touch and swipe at screens. They also talk to their screens, as though the characters can hear them. Now, that conversation can be two-way. It’s really about finding the right stories – and storytellers – that can tell these complex narratives and bring them to life in a compelling way.
Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale launches globally today, Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile is coming soon on July 14, and the third branching narrative Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout is in the works, coming to Netflix next year. At launch, these titles will be available on most TV experiences as well as iOS devices. The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Buddy Thunderstruck are children’s series that are currently on Netflix’s service, but these particular interactive adventures we’re announcing today are brand new, standalone episodes