Skydance Animation Skydance Animation

Spellbound, the forthcoming feature from Skydance Animation, has a global release date: November 11, 2022. Paramount Pictures is co-financing the film, and will release it globally.

What’s the project? Spellbound is described as a musical fantasy feature “set in a world of magic where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.”

Who’s involved? The film is directed by Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale), and written by Lauren Hynek (Mulan remake), Elizabeth Martin (Mulan remake), and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King). Alan Menken, a key figure in Disney’s 1990s renaissance, will write the score with lyricist Glenn Slater, with whom he’s collaborated on past projects like the Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid and Disney’s Tangled. David Lipman (Shrek) is producing.

What about the studios? Skydance Animation was launched in 2017 as a division of Skydance Media, the film production company founded by David Ellison. It has yet to release anything, but currently has multiple film and tv projects in development. Its first feature Luck has just had its domestic release date pushed back almost a year to February 18, 2022 (a global release will follow).

The studio is led by John Lasseter, the former creative head of Pixar and Disney, and Holly Edwards, a veteran producer and production executive formerly at Dreamworks Animation. It recently expanded its production capacity by acquiring the animation unit of Madrid, Spain-based Ilion Studios.

Skydance and Paramount have a long-term production and distribution deal. There were reported tensions between Skydance Animation and Paramount Animation following Skydance’s hiring of Lasseter in January 2019. Paramount is also co-producing and distributing Luck.

What they’re saying: Edwards says, “Luck and Spellbound create rich worlds and compelling characters that we know will resonate with audiences everywhere. It’s incredibly exciting to see our team of legendary creatives working around the clock and across the globe to bring these pictures to life.”

Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution, added, “Luck and Spellbound mark the next phase of Skydance and Paramount’s commitment to feature animation for the theatrical experience. 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.”

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