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Skydance Animation hops from Apple to Netflix in multi-year feature pact

Source: Netflix/Skydance Animation


Skydance Animation has signed a multi-year exclusive agreement with Netflix to develop and produce animated films to be released directly on Netflix.

The deal kicks off with Spellbound (pictured) in 2024 followed by Pookoo a year later and expands on the prior relationship between the streamer and Skydance Media.

Wednesday’s announcement comes as Skydance Animation’s multi-year deal with Apple ends as the latter shifts its focus to other types of film. Spellbound had been set to debut on Apple TV+ but will now launch on Netflix.

Skydance Media and Apple continue to collaborate on film and TV such as sci-fi series Foundation.

Spellbound follows Ellian, a tenacious princess who must embark on a quest to save her family and kingdom after a mysterious spell transforms her parents, the King and Queen of Lumbria, into monsters.

Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) directs from a screenplay by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin and Linda Woolverton, and the voice cast features Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, Nathan Lane, and Tituss Burgess.

John Lasseter, the former Pixar head who leads Los Angeles and Madrid-based Skydance Animation and its creative vision along with president of Skydance Animation Holly Edwards, is producing Spellbound with Skydance founder David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Bruce Anderson for Skydance Animation.

Pookoo is a buddy comedy about a small woodland creature and a majestic bird, sworn enemies of The Valley, who magically trade places and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.

Nathan Greno (Tangled, Tangled Ever After) directs, and producers are Lasseter, Ellison, Goldberg, and Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews for Skydance Animation.

Future films include Ray Gunn directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant), and an untitled Jack And The Beanstalk project directed by Rich Moore (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph).

Animation is a key push for the streamer, which won this year’s Oscar for feature animation with Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. In July 2022 the company announced it had acquired Australian animation outfit Animal Logic.

Netflix and Skydance Media have collaborated on features like The Adam Project, Heart Of Stone, The Old Guard, and Spy Kids: Armageddon, as well as series FUBARAltered Carbon, and Grace And Frankie.

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