Skydance Animation

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Skydance Animation, LLC
FoundedMarch 16, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-03-16)
Key people
ParentSkydance Media
DivisionsSkydance Animation Madrid

Skydance Animation, LLC is an American animation studio that is a division of Skydance Media, founded on March 16, 2017. The studio is located in Los Angeles with offices in Connecticut and Madrid, Spain; the Madrid branch was originally Ilion Animation Studios.

Skydance Animation's first film Luck was released on August 5, 2022 on Apple TV+. Its next film is Spellbound, followed by two projects in the works, Pookoo and Ray Gunn.


Logo from 2017 to 2020

In March 2017, Skydance Media formed an animation division and a multi-year partnership with Madrid, Spain-based animation studio Ilion Animation Studios.[1] In July, it announced its first two films, Split, for a release in 2019, and Luck.[2] On October 10, 2017, Bill Damaschke was hired to head the division as president of animation and family entertainment, and Luck was given a release date of March 19, 2021.[3] In April 2018, Luck was greenlit by Paramount Animation chief Mireille Soria.[4]

Skydance Animation signed on directors Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) to direct Luck, Vicky Jenson (Shrek) to direct Spellbound[5]), and Nathan Greno (Tangled) to write and direct Pookoo (formerly known as Powerless).[6] Peggy Holmes (Secret of the Wings and The Pirate Fairy) was later announced as new director of Luck, replacing Carloni who left over creative differences.[7]

In January 2019, Skydance Animation hired former Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter as Head of Animation, supplanting Damaschke.[8] This decision was met with disapproval from some contributors to various Skydance projects, owing to prior allegations of sexual misconduct against Lasseter during his time with Pixar.[9] Soria announced that the team at Paramount Animation would no longer work with Skydance due to the hiring of Lasseter.[10] Luck and Spellbound were still going to be released by Skydance Media's collaborator Paramount Pictures without Paramount Animation[11], as part of Skydance Media's deal with Paramount. until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to both films in February 2021 as part of a larger pact with Skydance Animation.[12] Apple Original Films would replace Paramount for both Luck and Spellbound. Conversely, Damaschke stated that many people "[...] had strong feelings and felt like it was the right thing to do [...] and were excited to get to work with him" and it was "[...] definitely not a black-and-white situation."[13] Emma Thompson was to voice a character in Luck but left the project after Lasseter was hired.[14][15] Jane Fonda was cast as The Dragon in Luck.[16]

Holly Edwards, who previously served as Skydance Animation's Head of Production, was promoted to the position of president at Skydance Animation.[17]

On April 2, 2020, composer Alan Menken revealed that he was working alongside Lasseter on a project for the studio,[18] which was later announced to be Spellbound.[19] Skydance formally acquired Ilion Animation Studios and rebranded it as Skydance Animation Madrid in April 2020.[20] On July 30, the studio named Shane Prigmore for the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Development for Animation, in which he will oversee the creative development of all feature films and television series.[21] On December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ entered talks to take over the distribution rights to the films Luck and Spellbound.[22][23] More recently, Apple signed an overall deal with Skydance Animation which included animated films and television series. This includes a television adaptation of the novel The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi. The series has been greenlit for two seasons and was announced to feature showrunner Lauren Montgomery as both writer and executive producer with DiTerlizzi and Chad Quant.[24] She has since left the project and has been replaced by Bobs Gannaway, another of Lasseter’s Disney-era colleagues.

On June 2020, Shane Prigmore, an animation veteran who co-created Tangled: The Series, was hired as SVP Development at Skydance Animation. He will be tasked with overseeing the creative development of all films and TV series on the studio’s production slate.[25]

On October 1, 2021, Skydance Animation released its first short film inspired by a true story from director Joe Mateo called Blush. It was released on Apple TV+ as part of their multi-year deal. The ships from the short film became the mascots of the studio during the release of Luck, and a portion of Joy Ngiaw’s score was used for the fanfare of the studio.[26]

In February 2022, it was announced that Brad Bird would revive his long-dormant project Ray Gunn for Skydance Animation after it was originally set up at Turner Feature Animation.[27]

On March 16, 2022, Rich Moore revealed that he has entered into an exclusive, multi-year overall deal with Skydance Animation.[28]

Skydance's first film Luck, was released on August 5, 2022. It received mixed reviews.


Feature films[edit]


Films produced by Skydance Animation
Release Title Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Distribution Budget Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Screenplay by Story by
August 5, 2022 Luck Peggy Holmes
Javier Abad
John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
David Eisenmann
Based on an original concept by:
Rebeca Carrasco
Juan De Dios
Julián Romero
John Debney Apple TV+ $140–200 million[29] 49% (92 reviews)[30] 48 (21 reviews)[31]
Kiel Murray Jonathan Aibel
Glenn Berger

Kiel Murray


Films produced by Skydance Animation
Release Title Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Distribution Production Status
TBA Spellbound Vicky Jenson John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
David Lipman
Linda Woolverton
Lauren Hynek
Elizabeth Martin
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
Glenn Slater
Apple TV+ Post-production [32]
Pookoo Nathan Greno Jennifer Magee-Cook Nathan Greno TBA In production [33]
Ray Gunn Brad Bird John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Brad Bird
Based on an original concept by:
Brad Bird
Michael Giacchino [34][35]
Brad Bird
Matthew Robbins

Short films[edit]

Release Title Director Composer Distribution
October 1, 2021 Blush Joe Mateo Joy Ngiaw Apple TV+

Television series[edit]

Year Title Showrunners(s)/Developer(s) Network Seasons Episodes Co-Production Ref(s)
First Broadcast Last Broadcast
TBA WondLa Bobs Gannaway Apple TV+ 1 (2 ordered) TBA Gotham Group [36][37]


  1. ^ McNary, Dave (March 16, 2017). "David Ellison's Skydance Launching Animation Division With Spain's Ilion". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  2. ^ Busch, Anita (July 31, 2017). "Skydance's Steps Big Into Animation: 'Split' And 'Luck' Coming From Top Notch Ani Filmmakers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (October 10, 2017). "Skydance Hires Bill Damaschke for Animation-Family Entertainment Post". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (April 25, 2018). "Paramount Grows Its Animation Slate With 'Monster on the Hill,' 'Luck'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  5. ^ "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. 27 July 2022.
  6. ^ Busch, Anita (February 22, 2018). "Skydance Media Taps 'Tangled's Nathan Greno In Multiyear Deal, Will Direct 'Powerless'". Deadline. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  7. ^ "Skydance Animation's First Film 'Luck' Lands New Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 January 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  8. ^ Lang, Brent (January 9, 2019). "Ousted Pixar Chief John Lasseter Hired by Skydance Animation". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Lang, Brent (January 15, 2019). "John Lasseter's Skydance Animation Tenure Is Already off to a Rocky Start". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 14, 2019). "Paramount Animation Chief Says Her Team Won't Be Working With John Lasseter at Skydance Post". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Retrieved Jul 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "Apple Makes Big Animation Commitment with New Skydance Animation Deal". Collider. 2021-02-17. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  13. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (September 26, 2019). "Producer Bill Damaschke on Bringing Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge!' to Stage". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "Emma Thompson explains her John Lasseter letter". Southern California Public Radio. 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  15. ^ "Must Reads: Emma Thompson's letter to Skydance: Why I can't work for John Lasseter". Los Angeles Times. 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  16. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 17, 2021). "Jane Fonda to Voice Key Role in Apple/Skydance Film 'Luck'". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  17. ^ Donnelly, Matt (2019-02-14). "Skydance Animation Names Holly Edwards President Under John Lasseter". Variety. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  18. ^ Talk Back with Alan Menken (2020)
  19. ^ Giranda, Carolyn (May 20, 2020). "Alan Menken to Compose Original Songs and Score for Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  20. ^ Grater, Tom (April 6, 2020). "Skydance Acquires Spain's Ilion Studios To Form Combined U.S.-Europe Animation Outfit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Salinas, Victor (July 30, 2020). "Skydance Animation Hires Industry Veteran Shane Prigmore as SVP Development". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  22. ^ Donnelly, Matt; Lang, Brent (December 16, 2020). "Skydance Animation in Talks to Move 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' to Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  23. ^ "Apple Makes Big Animation Commitment with New Skydance Animation Deal". Collider. 2021-02-17. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 17, 2021). "Apple & Skydance Animation Set Multi-Year Feature Film & TV Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  25. ^ "Skydance Animation Hires Industry Veteran Shane Prigmore as SVP Development". 31 July 2020.
  26. ^ "'Blush' Trailer: Apple TV+ Short Film from Skydance Animation". 29 September 2021.
  27. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (17 February 2022). "Skydance Animation Brings 'The Incredibles' Brad Bird Into Fold To Direct His Animated Film Creation 'Ray Gunn'". Deadline Hollywood.
  28. ^ Grobat, Matt (March 16, 2022). "Oscar Winner Rich Moore Strikes Overall Deal With Skydance Animation". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  29. ^ Keegan, Rebecca; Giardina, Carolyn (July 27, 2022). "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  30. ^ "Luck". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  31. ^ "Luck". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  32. ^ Sarto, Debbie (June 21, 2022). "Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound' Adds Oscar-Winning Voice Talent". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  33. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (April 6, 2020). "Skydance Media Acquires Animation Unit Of Madrid-Based Ilion Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  34. ^ "Skydance Animation Snatches Brad Bird's 'Ray Gunn'". 17 February 2022.
  35. ^ "Michael Giacchino to Score Brad Bird's 'Ray Gunn' | Film Music Reporter".
  36. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 17, 2021). "Apple & Skydance Animation Set Multi-Year Feature Film & TV Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^

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