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A Key Inspiration For Orion And The Dark Makes 1 Plot Point Hugely Ironic


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  • Orion and the Dark explores themes of anxiety, fear, self-discovery, and empathy through the journey of a scared elementary school boy.
  • The character of Orion in the film is the opposite of the brave huntsman from Greek mythology who shares his name.
  • Orion’s journey ultimately teaches him bravery as he confronts and overcomes his fears to save the world, showing that heroism is not measured by physical strength.



Orion And The Dark follows the journey of Orion as he confronts his biggest fear, and one big inspiration for the character makes one key part of his story hugely ironic. Directed by Sean Charmatz with a script by Charlie Kaufman, and based on the children’s book of the same name by Emma Yarlett, Orion and the Dark is an animated fantasy film that addresses topics like anxiety, fear, self-discovery, and empathy. Orion and the Dark introduces viewers to Orion (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), an elementary school boy who is scared of everything.

Orion keeps a list of all his fears and anxieties, but his biggest fear is the dark. One night, Orion meets Dark (Paul Walter Hauser), the embodiment of darkness, who invites Orion to see him work that night so he can show him the benefits of darkness and Orion can overcome his fears. However, Orion’s fears get in the way and cause major trouble between Dark and the other night entities. Orion is driven by his anxiety and fears throughout most of the movie, which is ironic when looking at the inspiration behind his name.


Orion And The Dark Ending Explained

Orion and the Dark follows the journey of Orion and the embodiment of Dark, in which they both learn about themselves and their role in the world.

Orion’s Journey Is The Opposite Of The Greek Myth Of Orion

Orion and the Dark Orion scared

Orion’s name comes from Greek mythology. Orion was a giant huntsman who was placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion. He first appears in Homer’s Odyssey, where he’s the pinnacle of human excellence in hunting, and Odysseus sees him hunting in the underworld. In the Astronomia, Orion is the son of Poseidon and Euryale, daughter of Minos, and is blinded after sexually assaulting Merope, but is healed by the sun. Orion is killed by Gaia (or Apollo, in some versions), who sends a giant scorpion to kill him, and he is placed among the constellations by Zeus.

There are different versions of the legends and myths of Orion, but they all describe him as a brave and cruel huntsman, which is the entire opposite of young Orion in Orion and the Dark. Young Orion is not a hunter, he’s quite calm and compassionate, and he’s definitely not brave. Orion is so scared of everything and overthinks everything that he actively avoids a school trip to the planetarium, despite being invited by his crush, Sally, to sit together on the bus. Even during his journey with Dark, Orion’s fears create tension with the other night entities and eventually lead to chaos when Dark vanishes and Light takes over.

Orion and The Dark’s Greek Mythology Inspiration Teases His Heroic Ending

Orion and the Dark young Orion hugging Dark

Despite the many differences between young Orion and the huntsman from Greek mythology, this inspiration for the character teased what young Orion would become. Although in many tales Orion isn’t the best person, he was venerated as a hero, hence why he was given a place among the stars. It wasn’t easy for young Orion to confront and conquer his fears, but he eventually did and saved the world by rescuing Dark and restoring the natural balance of day and night, thus becoming a hero.

Greek mythology’s Orion and the young character of the same name in Orion and the Dark had opposite journeys and traits, with one being the bravest of all and the other one seen as the biggest coward, but the latter showed his bravery when he finally faced his fears in order to save the world, showing that a hero isn’t measured by his physical strength and size.

Orion and the Dark Netflix Movie Poster

Orion and the Dark

Orion and the Dark is an animated family comedy film by director Sean Charmatz, released in 2024, based on the book by Emma Yarlett. Orion, a boy with a powerful imagination, is thrown into a gauntlet of all his fears when he is dragged along by his greatest fear, the Dark, to discover that his fears of the night may be unfounded.

Release Date
February 2, 2024

Sean Charmatz

Jacob Tremblay , Paul Walter Hauser , Werner Herzog , Angela Bassett , Colin Hanks , Ike Barinholtz , Natasia Demetriou

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