Sandman gets an animated episode with Sandra Oh, David Tennant

While Netflix has yet to renew Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” for a second season, it has only given fans of the new TV series the best thing by dropping a surprising “bonus” episode featuring guest stars Sandra Oh, James McAvoy, David Tennant, and Michael Shane.

Dropping Friday at 12AM PDT, exactly two weeks after the first 10 episodes were released, the new season one of “The Sandman” is a live-action/animated hybrid episode adapting two fan-favorite stories from Gaiman’s graphic novels. “Sandman” from DC Comics: “Dream of a Thousand Cats” and “Callop.”

“A Dream of a Thousand Cats” is the animated sequel and stars Tom Sturridge as the lead “Sandman” as Dream, as well as guest voice cast members including Oh as The Prophet, Rosie Day as The Tabby Kitten, and David Gyasi as Gray Cat, Joe Lisette as Black Cat, Gaiman himself as Crowe/Skull Bird, McAvoy as The Golden-Haired Man, David Tennant as Don, Georgia Tennant as Laura Lynn, Shane as Paul, Anna Lundberg as Marion , Nunso Anozzi as Wyvern, Diane Morgan as Gryphon, and Tom Wu as Hippogriff.

Gaiman diehards will remember McAvoy as the voice of Morpheus, aka Dream, in the Audible adaptation of “The Sandman,” while Sheen performs the voice of Lucifer, portrayed by Gwendoline Christie in the Netflix series, and Tennant Loki voices. Shane and Tennant also star in Gaiman’s book-to-TV adaptation, “Good Omens” from Amazon Prime Video.

“We sought to make the animated version of A Dream of a Thousand Cats as charming and hypnotic as possible by harnessing the magic of real oil paintings on canvas,” Hesco Holsing, who directed the animated story, said in a statement. “We combined paintings with classically drawn 2D animation, based on photorealistic 3D animation of telepathic cats in order to create a 3D world that feels both earthly and dreamy. Untold Studios in London has created stunning 3D animation of cats. Animated by Fantastic 2D animation, oil paintings and style at the Submarine Studios in Amsterdam.”

The live-action story “Calliope” directed by Louise Hopper, which features Sturridge alongside guest stars Melissanthi Mahut as Calliope, Arthur Darvell as Richard Maddock, Nina Wadia as Mother Fate, Souad Fares as Fate Crone, and Denita Juhel as Fate Maiden, Kevin Harvey as Larry, Amita Suman as Nora, and Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry.

The television special for the hybrid “Sandman” episode was written by Kathryn Smith-McMullen and executive produced by show creators Gaiman and David S. Goyer and show director Alan Heinberg.

Netflix’s “The Sandman” was produced by Warner Bros. Television. It is based on the DC Comics series of the same name by Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg.

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