The New #1 Movie on Netflix Is...‘Woody Woodpecker’?

The 2017 family flick shot to #1

Still from 'Woody Woodpecker.'
Universal Pictures

2023 is the summer of Barbie, Oppenheimer and...Woody Woodpecker?

Over the weekend, the 2017 family comedy Woody Woodpecker (inspired by the cartoon character of the same name) jumped into the number-one spot on Netflix's list of most-watched movies. The computer-animated film, which was only released theatrically in Latin America, was uploaded to Netflix on September 1. Why exactly it suddenly blew up this past weekend is unclear, but Woody Woodpecker slid past recent releases like You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, Love Again and Don't Worry Darling.

Woody Woodpecker follows the titular bird as he tries to protect his natural habitat from a real estate lawyer trying to build a home on his land.

Woody is voiced by Eric Bauza, while the lawyer is played by Timothy Omundson. Other cast members include Graham Verchere, Jordana Largy, Thaila Ayala, Adrian Glynn McMorran, Scott McNeil and more.

Following the movie's premiere in Brazil, it was released direct-to-video in the U.S., as well as on Netflix in February 2018. It was then removed from the streaming site before being re-uploaded this month.

The character of Woody Woodpecker was created by Walter Lantz and Ben Hardaway, and he made his first appearance in the short Knock Knock in 1940. Then, there was The Woody Woodpecker Show, which aired for five seasons from 1957 to 1977 (there were various gaps in between the seasons).

More recently, there was the animated web series, also titled Woody Woodpecker, which aired on YouTube from 2018 to 2022.

Despite the movie’s minimal gross at the box office (it only made $15 million on a $10 million budget), a sequel was already filmed from September to December 2021. However, a release date for the follow-up has not yet been set.

We certainly didn't see this one coming.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...