Almost four years after David Ellison’s Skydance Media formed Skydance Animation, the production studio has announced its new lineup of family-friendly animated feature films and television shows that are set to be released next year. The launch of these productions comes as part of a multi-year deal between Skydance Animation and Apple that is forecasted to bring additional quality children’s programming to the Apple TV+ streaming platform.
“Luck,” directed by Peggy Holmes and written by Kiel Murray, will be the first feature from Skydance Animation and is set to premier in early 2022. “Luck” follows the story of the unluckiest girl in the world, who stumbles upon a never-before-seen world of good and bad luck and partners with magical creatures to uncover a force even more powerful than luck itself. The film will feature two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda as The Dragon, who is the luckiest creature in the land.
Vicky Jenson, who also directed “Shrek” and won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, will team up once again with “Shrek” producer David Lipman for “Spellbound,” an animated musical that’s set to launch in late 2022.
Written by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin, and Linda Woolverton, “Spellbound” showcases the story of a young girl whose mission is to break the spell that has torn her kingdom apart. The original score for the film will come from eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, who has worked on such hits as “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Pocahontas.” Grammy Award-winner Glenn Slater will pen the lyrics.
Holly Edwards, president of Skydance Animation, 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.”
Skydance Animation is run by Edwards and John Lasseter, who was hired as head of animation in 2019. Together, they will serve as producers on all feature films and executive producers on all series.
John Lasseter, who got his start at Disney in the late 1970s, brings decades of top-notch creative talent and expertise to Skydance Animation. With an Oscar under his belt and a portfolio that boasts classics like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Frozen,” “The Lion King,” Lasseter has been a part of some of the most celebrated animated productions of all time.
Skydance Animation will also soon make its television debut with two seasons of “The Search for WondLa,” an adaptation of Tony DiTerlizzi’s book series by the same name. This science fiction fantasy show tells the tale of a 12-year-old girl who was raised underground but is forced to flee aboveground and experience the outside world for the first time. The Apple Original series will be written and executive produced by showrunner Lauren Montgomery, with Chad Quant, DiTerlizzi, and Gotham Group also serving as executive producers.