One of the recurring themes in our coverage of Illumination’s films—whether from four years ago or a recent post about the absence of Illumination “art of” books—is looking at how the studio operates differently from other major Hollywood animation producers.
As a feature animation company, Illumination is less revolutionary, more evolutionary. Founder and CEO Chris Meledandri has brought a boutique animation shop flavor to Hollywood feature animation, creating an alternative to the bloated feature infrastructure of Disney in the 1990s and Dreamworks in the 2000s. Illumination’s model of curated hand-picked projects is in many ways an iteration of Pixar’s approach, even if the resulting films are different.
A piece published yesterday in the business publication Fast Company sheds some light on one of the studio’s biggest strengths: marketing its films to the global masses. The piece presents the statistic that 20% of the content produced by Illumination’s French studio Mac Guff is not actually for the films, but for ancillary content related to the films: