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Netflix launches interactive kids shows

"It's not easy or cheap, but we've got to try it"

Netflix is set to deliver two interactive children’s TV shows that will allow audiences to determine the plot.

The animated programmes ask youngsters to choose between two options at several key moments throughout the story.

The streaming giant said the nature of its online streaming platform has allowed it to experiment with branching narrative technology in a way that would not be possible for traditional broadcasters. It did, however, admit that such shows are more costly to produce.

“It was actually a little bit more than twice as much animation as a typical episode,” explained Doug Langdale, executive producer of the Puss in Book series. “It was about 50 minutes [of footage] where it would normally be 22. Especially with computer animation, that’s tremendously more expensive. It’s not easy or cheap. But it’s the next thing, and we’ve got to try it.”

The programmes can be watched and controlled via smart TVs, games consoles and iOS devices – but cannot be downloaded and viewed offline.

It has taken two years to bring the shows to screen, with part of the challenge being trying to ensure their plots remain logical and compelling whatever choices are made.