The new faith-driven family animated series The Wingfeather Saga passed 3.5 million views in recent days, barely a month after it was launched by the same studio that launched The Chosen.
The fantasy-based series is based on the bestselling children's books by Christian singer/author Andrew Peterson and tells the story of a tight-knit family, the Igibys, who are battling evil in a world controlled by their overlords, the lizard-looking "Fangs."
The Wingfeather Saga launched on December 2 on the Angel Studios app and is crowdfunded – which means it wasn't bankrolled by Hollywood studios. Angel Studios raised $5 million from fans to create Season 1. It is scheduled for seven seasons.
It can be viewed for free and has been streamed 3.6 million times, according to data in the Angel Studios app.
Peterson credits the series' showrunner, J. Chris Wall, for its success. Wall previously worked as a producer on VeggieTales and The Slugs & Bugs Show.
"Chris has put together an incredible team," Peterson told Christian Headlines.
It stars Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, The 100).
The series, Peterson said, is "beautiful."
Three of the six episodes of Season 1 have been released. The remaining episodes are scheduled for release on February 10, February 24 and March 10.
The series has elements of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, Wall said. (The Igibys pray to the Maker.)
It's made for the "whole family" to watch together, he added.
"You have to have a certain amount of peril and real stakes" to attract older children, Wall told Christian Headlines. "... But we don't want to shock with that, and we're not going to be gratuitous with it."
The series is unique, Wall said, because it features parents and children cooperating instead of bickering as is often portrayed in mainstream content.
"It's kids trying to find who they are in the world and what their destiny [is] … with their family guiding that process of being a sounding board to say, 'Hey, you're not alone in figuring this out. Let's work this out together and figure out where your greatest satisfaction will come from.'"
Groundbreaking Wingfeather Saga Launches: It's for 'Families of All Ages,' Filmmaker Says
Narnia-Like Wingfeather Saga Breaks Crowdfunding TV Record: 'Amazing,' Producer Says
Andrew Peterson on the Popularity of the Wingfeather Saga: I Was 'Just Trusting' God
Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.