Richard Linklater's "Apollo 10: Childhood in the Space Age" looks like a unique animated film

Netflix has released a trailer for Richard Linklater's Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood, debuting April 1 on the streamer and it looks like one of the first must-see American animated features of 2022.

Linklater, who grew up in NASA's hometown of Houston, Texas, during the 1960s space era, drew on his personal memories of “how exciting it was to be a kid at that moment.” He describes the film as such:

Despite his reputation as a live-action director, Linklater is no stranger to animation and has previously directed two well received animated features, Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. Many are pointing out that Apollo 10½ uses the same interpolated rotoscoping technique as those earlier films, but Linklater says that technique wasn't possible in a story “where everything had to be designed and created,” adding that “to achieve all the necessary textures (vintage period, comic book, newsreel documentary, grandiose fantasy, realistic character piece), it would require a playful combination of various techniques such as 3D and some minimal performance capture within the character animation.”

He says that one of the biggest graphic challenges of making the film was imbuing the era's analog influence into the all-digital process:

The results look grounded in reality in a way that most animated features aren't, with a deep nostalgia for a specific time and place that is rooted in both memory and fantasy, or as Linklater puts it “the memory of a fantasy.”

Linklater wrote and directed the film. He also produced alongside Mike Blizzard, Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting, and Bruno Felix. The executive producer is John Sloss.

The film's voice cast includes Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise, Natalie L'Amoreaux, Josh Wiggins, Sam Chipman, Jessica Brynn Cohen, Danielle Guilbot, Zachary Levi, Glen Powell, and Jack Black.