Skydance Animation

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Skydance Animation, LLC
Company typeDivision
Industry
  • Animation
  • Motion pictures
  • Television
FoundedMarch 16, 2017; 7 years ago (2017-03-16)
FounderDavid Ellison
Javier Pérez Dolset
Ignacio Pérez Dolset
Headquarters,
United States
Key people
Number of employees
900[1] (2022)
ParentSkydance Media
DivisionsMadrid
Los Angeles
East Hartford, Connecticut
Websiteskydance.com/animation/

Skydance Animation, LLC is an American animation studio that is a division of Skydance Media, founded on March 16, 2017. The studio is based in Los Angeles, with offices in East Hartford, 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, set for release in 2024, followed by three other film projects, Pookoo, Ray Gunn, and an untitled Jack and the Beanstalk musical project (all for Netflix), along with a TV series being developed based on the books of The Search for WondLa (for Apple TV+).

History[edit]

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.[2] In July, it announced its first two films, Split, for a release in 2019, and Luck.[3] Both films would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance Media. 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.[4] In April 2018, Luck was greenlit by Paramount Animation chief Mireille Soria.[5]

Skydance Animation signed on directors Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) to direct Luck, Vicky Jenson (Shrek) to direct Spellbound[6]), and Nathan Greno (Tangled) to write and direct Pookoo (formerly known as Powerless).[7] 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.[8]

In January 2019, Skydance Animation hired former Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter as Head of Animation, supplanting Damaschke.[9] 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.[10] Soria announced that the team at Paramount Animation would no longer work with Skydance due to the hiring of Lasseter.[11] 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."[12] Emma Thompson was to voice a character in Luck but left the project after Lasseter was hired.[13][14] Jane Fonda was cast as The Dragon in Luck.[15] Holly Edwards, who previously served as Skydance Animation's Head of Production, was promoted to the position of president at Skydance Animation.[16]

On April 2, 2020, composer Alan Menken revealed that he was working alongside Lasseter on a project for the studio,[17] which was later announced to be Split, which at that point was The Unbreakable Spell before being retitled Spellbound.[18] Skydance formally acquired Ilion Animation Studios and rebranded it as Skydance Animation Madrid in April 2020.[19]

In June 2020, Shane Prigmore, an animation veteran who co-created Tangled: The Series, was hired as SVP Development at Skydance Animation. He would be tasked with overseeing the creative development of all films and TV series on the studio's production slate. That is until he left for Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June 2023. [20] [21]

In July 2020, it was announced that Luck and Spellbound were still going to be released by Paramount without Paramount Animation as part of their deal with Skydance Media, giving the two release dates of February 18, 2022, and November 11, 2022, respectively. Paramount's president of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson stated "These films not only continue our longstanding relationship with Skydance, but, along with Paramount Animation's own upcoming films, mean we will be releasing event-level animated films for years to come."[22]

However, on December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ entered talks to take over the distribution rights to the films Luck and Spellbound.[23][24] Apple Original Films would replace Paramount for both Luck and Spellbound. In February 2021, 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.[25][26] She has since left the project and has been replaced by Bobs Gannaway, another of Lasseter's Disney-era colleagues.[27]

On October 1, 2021, Skydance Animation released its first short film inspired by a true story from 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.[28]

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 during the late 1990s.[29] On March 16, 2022, Rich Moore revealed that he has entered into an exclusive, multi-year overall deal with Skydance Animation.[30] In July 2022, Ellison and Lasseter plan for Skydance Animation to make two feature films a year, with their theatrical strategy to be determined on a film-by-film basis. The company is also building a consumer products team to capitalize on its potential successes and began to open a 5.8-acre Santa Monica campus in October, which was completed by November 2023.[6]

In October 2023, Skydance Animation had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to develop and produce animated films, ending the studio's partnership with Apple.[31] Netflix would take over distribution of preexisting Skydance Animation titles from Apple TV+, including Spellbound, Ray Gunn, and Pookoo. This deal however does not include WondLa, which was created by Apple.[32]

In May 2024, Bruce Anderson, producer of Spellbound, is now hired as Head of Production at Skydance Animation and will oversee production planning for Skydance’s slate of films.[33]

[edit]

With the release of Blush in October 2021, Skydance Animation's logo revealed their first logo, it represents their logo in silver, in space in the style of Skydance Media's short logo. With the release of Luck in August 2022, their full logo was released and shows the rocket and the UFO from Blush which are now the mascots of the studio launched from their planet (also from Blush) flying around to form the studio's logo with magic blue and pink trails, the fanfare was composed by Joy Ngiaw which was adopted from the theme of Blush, it was animated by their Madrid branch, Skydance Animation Madrid and their head of animation, John Lasseter.[34] The behind the music of the studio's logo was posted by Joy Ngiaw.[35]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Released[edit]

Films produced by Skydance Animation
Release Title Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Distribution
Screenplay by Story by
August 5, 2022 Luck Peggy Holmes
Co-director:
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 Studios
Kiel Murray Jonathan Aibel
Glenn Berger

Kiel Murray

Upcoming[edit]

Films produced by Skydance Animation
Release Title Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Distribution Production status Ref.
2024 Spellbound Vicky Jenson John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Bruce Anderson
Linda Woolverton
Lauren Hynek
Elizabeth Martin
Julia Miranda
Alan Menken
(score)
Alan Menken
Glenn Slater
(songs)
Netflix Post-production [36][37][38][39]
2025 Pookoo Nathan Greno John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews
Nathan Greno Siddhartha Khosla In production [40]
TBA Ray Gunn Brad Bird John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Brad Bird
Based on an original concept by:
Brad Bird
Michael Giacchino [41][42]
Brad Bird
Matthew Robbins
Untitled Jack and the Beanstalk musical project Rich Moore John Lasseter
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Rich Moore
Based on the fairy tale by:
Benjamin Tabart
Stephen Schwartz
(songs)
In development [31]
TBA

Short films[edit]

Release Title Director Producer Composer Distribution
October 1, 2021 Blush Joe Mateo Heather Schmidt Feng Yanu Joy Ngiaw Apple Studios
March 17, 2023 Bad Luck Spot![43] Matt Youngberg Laurel Ladevich John Debney

Television series[edit]

Upcoming[edit]

Year Title Showrunners(s)/Developer(s) Network Co-production Ref(s)
2024 WondLa Bobs Gannaway Apple TV+ Gotham Group [44][45][46][47]

Reception[edit]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Critical
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Luck 48% (94 reviews)[48] 48 (21 reviews)[49]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2021[50] Original Score – Short Animated Film (Blush) Joy Ngiaw Won
Music + Sound Awards[51] 2022 Joy Ngiaw
Annie Awards[52] February 26, 2022 Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television/Media Production (Blush) Joy Ngiaw Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 16, 2022 Original Score – Animated Film (Luck) John Debney Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Skydance Lands $400M Investment to Expand Animation, Sports, Interactive Ambitions". The Hollywood Reporter. October 13, 2022. Archived from the original on October 15, 2022. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (March 16, 2017). "David Ellison's Skydance Launching Animation Division With Spain's Ilion". Variety. Archived from the original on August 29, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  3. ^ Busch, Anita (July 31, 2017). "Skydance's Steps Big Into Animation: 'Split' And 'Luck' Coming From Top Notch Ani Filmmakers". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 3, 2022. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (October 10, 2017). "Skydance Hires Bill Damaschke for Animation-Family Entertainment Post". Variety. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (April 25, 2018). "Paramount Grows Its Animation Slate With 'Monster on the Hill,' 'Luck'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. July 27, 2022. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  7. ^ Busch, Anita (February 22, 2018). "Skydance Media Taps 'Tangled's Nathan Greno In Multiyear Deal, Will Direct 'Powerless'". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Skydance Animation's First Film 'Luck' Lands New Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. January 14, 2020. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  9. ^ Lang, Brent (January 9, 2019). "Ousted Pixar Chief John Lasseter Hired by Skydance Animation". Variety. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (January 15, 2019). "John Lasseter's Skydance Animation Tenure Is Already off to a Rocky Start". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 14, 2019). "Paramount Animation Chief Says Her Team Won't Be Working With John Lasseter at Skydance Post". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (September 26, 2019). "Producer Bill Damaschke on Bringing Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge!' to Stage". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "Emma Thompson explains her John Lasseter letter". Southern California Public Radio. April 12, 2019. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "Must Reads: Emma Thompson's letter to Skydance: Why I can't work for John Lasseter". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 2019. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  15. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 17, 2021). "Jane Fonda to Voice Key Role in Apple/Skydance Film 'Luck'". Variety. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  16. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 14, 2019). "Skydance Animation Names Holly Edwards President Under John Lasseter". Variety. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  17. ^ Talk Back with Alan Menken (2020). Young Artists of America. March 28, 2020. Archived from the original on November 20, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ Giranda, Carolyn (May 20, 2020). "Alan Menken to Compose Original Songs and Score for Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 28, 2022. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  19. ^ Grater, Tom (April 6, 2020). "Skydance Acquires Spain's Ilion Studios To Form Combined U.S.-Europe Animation Outfit". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  20. ^ "Skydance Animation Hires Industry Veteran Shane Prigmore as SVP Development". July 31, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  21. ^ https://deadline.com/2023/06/warner-bros-pictures-animation-shane-prigmore-1235415959/amp/&ved=2ahUKEwigq86Pl4SGAxU6g4kEHcHNAz8QFnoECCAQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3ogybeRo1KJIJSyiUCoxQ4. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Archived from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  23. ^ Donnelly, Matt; Lang, Brent (December 16, 2020). "Skydance Animation in Talks to Move 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' to Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 16, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
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  27. ^ Keegan, Rebecca; Giardina, Carolyn (July 27, 2022). "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2024.
  28. ^ "'Blush' Trailer: Apple TV+ Short Film from Skydance Animation". September 29, 2021. Archived from the original on August 29, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  29. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 17, 2022). "Skydance Animation Brings 'The Incredibles' Brad Bird Into Fold To Direct His Animated Film Creation 'Ray Gunn'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 15, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  30. ^ Grobat, Matt (March 16, 2022). "Oscar Winner Rich Moore Strikes Overall Deal With Skydance Animation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  31. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 18, 2023). "Netflix Sets Skydance Animation In Multi-Year Deal, First Up Is Alan Menken Musical 'Spellbound;' Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  32. ^ Mia Galuppo (October 18, 2023). "Skydance Animation Leaves Apple for Netflix Pact". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  33. ^ https://www.animationmagazine.net/2024/05/bruce-anderson-named-head-of-production-at-skydance-animation/
  34. ^ Ngiaw, Joy (August 8, 2022). "Skydance Animation Logo". Joy Ngiaw. Archived from the original on February 20, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  35. ^ "Music". Joy Ngiaw. Archived from the original on February 20, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  36. ^ Sarto, Debbie (June 21, 2022). "Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound' Adds Oscar-Winning Voice Talent". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  37. ^ "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Revealed (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 12, 2023.
  38. ^ "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Released (Exclusive)". June 12, 2023.
  39. ^ https://www.animationmagazine.net/2024/02/netflix-animation-announces-woody-woodpecker-hybrid-movie-new-images-revealed-for-upcoming-slate/
  40. ^ "Netflix Sets Skydance Animation In Multi-Year Deal, First Up Is Alan Menken Musical 'Spellbound;' Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem Star". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. October 18, 2023. Retrieved October 18, 2023. That will be followed by Pookoo in 2025.
  41. ^ "Skydance Animation Snatches Brad Bird's 'Ray Gunn'". February 17, 2022. Archived from the original on June 30, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  42. ^ "Michael Giacchino to Score Brad Bird's 'Ray Gunn' | Film Music Reporter". Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  43. ^ "Luck — Short Film: The Hazmat Bunnies in "Bad Luck Spot!"". YouTube. March 17, 2023. Archived from the original on March 17, 2023. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  44. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 17, 2021). "Apple & Skydance Animation Set Multi-Year Feature Film & TV Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  45. ^ "Breaking News - Apple Original Films Lands "The Family Plan," New Feature Film Starring Mark Wahlberg and Directed by Simon Cellan Jones | TheFutonCritic.com". www.thefutoncritic.com. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  46. ^ DiTerlizzi, Tony [@TonyDiTerlizzi] (November 16, 2022). "In anticipation of the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G series coming to @AppleTV from @Skydance Animation next year, I had the pleasure of refreshing the cover art for The WondLa trilogy. These new editions will available in hardcover or paperback on September, 2023.✨📖✨" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 16, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via Twitter.
  47. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (April 30, 2024). "Apple TV+ Brings Animated Fantasy-Adventure 'Wondla' Worldwide in June". Animation Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  48. ^ "Luck". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  49. ^ "Luck". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  50. ^ "Hollywood Music in Media Awards Honor Billie Eilish, Hans Zimmer, Nicholas Britell, Rufus Wainwright and More". November 19, 2021. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  51. ^ Music+Sound Awards [@MASAwards] (October 13, 2022). "🏆 @JoyNgiaw it's time to celebrate! #MASAwards Best Original Composition in a Short Film WINNER is @JoyNgiaw for her score on Blush @skydanceanim @Skydance @AppleTVPlus. Big congratulations to you 🙌🙌🙌 View an extract here: https://t.co/ueSDvxb4M6 https://t.co/wZgLew8n4z" (Tweet). Retrieved December 4, 2022 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (December 21, 2021). "'Raya and the Last Dragon' Leads 2022 Annie Awards Feature Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter.

External links[edit]