Your nerdiest animation dreams are about to come true. Twenty-five years after the premiere of the network’s first original, Dexter’s Laboratory, Genndy Tartakovsky is returning to Cartoon Network with a brand new show. Unicorn: Warriors Eternal will follow a group of ancient teen warriors as they work together to protect the world from an unseen omen. And as an extra fun twist, this new series will be inspired by myths from around the world.
It’s rare for animators to become bigger than the properties they’ve created, but Genndy Tartakovsky has certainly ascended to that level. Tartakovsky started his relationship with Cartoon Network by creating Dexter’s Laboratory. Over the course of the silly family comedy’s four seasons, the series won three Annie Awards and was nominated for four Emmys. The creator then moved to Adult Swim where he created one of his most ambitious and critically acclaimed series in all of animation, Samurai Jack. The drama about a samurai stuck out of his time ran from 2001 to 2017 and won eight Emmys as well as six Annie Awards. Tartakovsky continued this critically-beloved hot streak by creating the devastatingly beautiful and heartbreaking Primal, which aired its first season throughout 2019 and 2020.
Tartakovsky was also responsible for directing, drawing, and developing the beloved Star Wars companion series, Star Wars: Clone Wars. The creator has also dabbled in theatrical directing. Tartakovsky has directed all three Hotel Transylvania movies.
Now the creator is heading back to his Cartoon Network home. Fittingly, the news was first teased on Adult Swim’s Twitter through a cryptic video. The short features Primal’s caveman stumbling around Dexter’s lab and generally causing chaos. Now we know that tweet was more than a fun crossover. It was a hint at something much bigger and more exciting.
According to a press release from Cartoon Network and HBO Max:
Unicorn: Warriors Eternal follows a team of ancient heroes protecting the world from an ominous force. Throughout history, unicorns have symbolized the virtuous, appearing to ensure that goodness reigns. When the reawakening of our heroes comes too early, they find themselves in the bodies of teenagers. Damaged as a result, their memories of who they are and the history of the unicorn over the centuries have been lost, with some of their magical abilities weakened and fragmented. Not only do they have to protect the world against the prevailing darkness, they have to do it while navigating the unexpected laughs and humor that come with teen angst and emotions.
“Welcoming Genndy back to Cartoon Network, and now HBO Max was the perfect opportunity to introduce a new generation of fans to his visionary work and this one-of-a-kind series that offers something for everyone in the family,” said Tom Ascheim, President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics. “Genndy is a deeply respected creator whose visceral storytelling has inspired our audience and the artist community. We are honored to go on this next epic adventure with him.”
“Twenty-five years ago Dexter’s Laboratory was Cartoon Network’s first original series. It launched an incredible creative relationship that continued to prosper throughout the years,” Tartakovsky added. “Today, I am so proud and honored to be able to create an animated series for HBO Max and Cartoon Network, and start a new relationship, fostering more bold and original storytelling. Unicorn: Warriors Eternal is going to be crazy cool and I can’t wait for people to see it!”
Tartakovsky isn’t quite like other creators. Over his impressive and storied career Tartakovsky has proven that when he’s devoted to a project it’s going to be good. His filmography reads like a list of animation home runs. That’s all to say that when Unicorn: Warriors Eternal hits Cartoon Network and HBO Max, we’re going to be impressed.