Orion and the Dark (PG, 93 minutes)
Animated kids films have come a long way since I was a kid, which was the 70s, the era of the lesser Disney films, and with the handful of other notable films intellectually light-on.
Today, particularly with Pixar productions like Toy Story and Monsters Inc, also 20th Century Studios series like the Ice Age films, we have come to expect nuanced entertainments that work on an adult level as much as it does on a level that keeps the kids happy.
The level of intellectual rigour behind a kids' film probably reached its zenith with the 2015 Disney Pixar film Inside Out, moving and funny while also teaching children both about and how to control their emotions.
Hold on to your hat, though, because this animated family film comes to us with a screenplay by the intellectual powerhouse that is Charlie Kaufman, the chap who broke cinema-goers' collective brains with Being John Malkovich and then again with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Orion and the Dark began as a children's book written by Emma Yarlett, but the subject matter is pure Kaufmann, about the destructive inner world of a child terrified of facing their fears.
Schoolboy Orion (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) struggles with his fears of the world around him, including school bullies, radiation from his phone, accidentally falling from great heights, and especially from having to speak with the girl he has a crush on.
A complicated kid, the thing that most holds Orion's brain in a terror paralysis is his fear of the dark.
One night, during a blackout, darkness itself manifests into a figure (voiced by Paul Walter Hauser) and offers to school Orion in the positive side of darkness.
Orion joins Dark and his pal Light (Ike Barnholtz) on a globe-crossing excursion to see how other people welcome darkness into their lives.
Along the way, Orion meets other denizens of the nighttime world, including Sweet Dreams (Angela Bassett), Insomnia (Nat Faxon), Quiet (Aparna Nancherla), Unexplained Noises (Gold Rosheuvel) and Sleep (Natasia Demetriou).
We know fairly early on that it is all going to work out well for Orion, as the narrator of this tale is the adult Orion (Colin Hanks), telling this story for his daughter Hypatia (Mia Akemi Brown).
Director Sean Charmatz came up though the art department of some pretty iconic animation, the storyboard director on much of the SpongeBob SquarePants television series and taking on more significant roles in the recent Trolls and Angry Birds feature sequels.
Despite being a film about kids facing their fears, and other adult concepts, it isn't too mercurial and lacks the more terrifying possibilities our adult brains conjure up when we think of what might happen to us in the dark.
For that, it is very family-friendly, and also for the charming visual flourishes Charmatz plays with.
Kaufmann's screenplay works a certain magic by the film's conclusion, touching the heart of the parent that probably put this new Netflix film on to do a bit of digital babysitting and found themselves on the couch next to the kids.
For all those positive compliments, there is also a certain want of originality in Orion and the Dark, and you won't be the only adult asking if we've already seen a film about a child's inner emotions manifesting as adorable and helpful characters in the two Inside Out films.
Considering the time and expense that goes into a feature animation of this calibre, it's a little surprising that it has bypassed cinemas entirely to arrive in our Netflix queues.
That's more a comment on the state of the box office for films without Marvel superheroes at the moment, and not on the film's merits or quality.