HBO Max Cancels Animated Family Film Driftwood From Cartoon Network Studios

HBO Max has canceled upcoming animated feature film “Driftwood,” Variety has learned. From Cartoon Network Studios, the film was greenlit just three months ago.

The family adventure movie is one of many titles being lost at the streamer — just last week, nearly 40 series and films were removed from the platform, such as “Little Ellen,” which had 20 completed episodes that were yet to be released. The losses of these projects come as a result of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger and CEO David Zaslav’s determination to cut $3 billion in costs.

Announced by HBO Max on May 6, “Driftwood” was set in a decaying forest civilization dependent upon a toxic fuel source and ruled by an evil organization. The film was meant to follow Clover, a tiny mouse-like creature who races across the stars to find Driftwood, society’s last free city which may hold the key to a safe and sustainable fuel source and future for the galaxy. The evil overlord Thorn aims eliminate Clover and destroy Driftwood in order to maintain their power, and Clover and his new friends Marigold and Caspia make a stand to stop them once and for all and save their forest on the edge of infinity. “Driftwood” was created and executive produced by Victor Courtwright.

Many of the titles getting the ax come from HBO Max’s kids and family department — as do many of the layoffs occuring at WBD. 70 HBO and HBO Max staffers lost their jobs earlier this month, several having worked on kids and family content. This aligns with Zaslav comments during WBD’s recent earnings call, as well as HBO Max’s statement after cancelling “Gordita Chronicles” after one critically acclaimed season last month: “Live-action kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future.”

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