Skydance Animation Strikes Exclusive Deal with Netflix, Apple Partnership Shifts Focus to Live-Action Films
• Skydance Animation, led by John Lasseter and president Holly Edwards, has entered into an exclusive agreement with Netflix to release its animated films.
• The first film to be released through this deal is “Spellbound,” followed by “Pookoo” in 2025 and other highly anticipated projects.
• While the animation partnership with Apple has ended, both companies will continue collaborating on live-action films and series.
• Netflix has previously succeeded in releasing Skydance’s films and series, leading to its decision for more family-friendly content.
• David Ellison’s alignment with Apple only resulted in the release of one film; it was mutually agreed that the new Skydance project did not fit the narrative slate.
• This new partnership between Skydance Animation and Netflix promises to bring exciting animated content to audiences worldwide.
Skydance Animation, led by John Lasseter and president Holly Edwards, is making a big move by entering into an exclusive agreement with Netflix to release its animated movies directly on the streaming platform. The deal will span several years and marks the end of their distribution partnership with Apple Studios.
The first film to be released under this new deal is “Spellbound,” featuring Rachel Zegler and Tituss Burgess, slated for a 2024 release on Netflix. This will be followed by “Pookoo” in 2025 and highly anticipated projects like “Ray Gunn” directed by Brad Bird and an untitled Jack and the Beanstalk project directed by Rich Moore. It’s worth noting that these movies will be exclusively available on Netflix and will not have theatrical releases.
While Skydance Animation’s animation deal with Apple has ended, both companies will continue collaborating on live-action films and series. Apple has projects from Mark Wahlberg and Anya Taylor-Joy, among others, in the pipeline.
This partnership shift between Skydance Animation and Netflix isn’t entirely surprising, as both streaming platforms have previously collaborated with Skydance Media. Netflix has successfully released Skydance’s films and series in the past, including “The Adam Project,” “Heart of Stone,” “The Old Guard,” and TV shows like “FUBAR,” “Altered Carbon,” and “Grace and Frankie.” After recent award wins, Netflix’s animation division is also looking to expand and secure output deals for family-friendly content.
David Ellison’s alignment with Apple has been one of the most lucrative deals in Hollywood, as it guaranteed Skydance two live-action films per year with a substantial budget. However, their collaboration only resulted in the release of one film, “Luck,” it was mutually agreed that “Spellbound” didn’t fit Apple’s narrative slate, leading to its move to Netflix.
This new partnership between Skydance Animation and Netflix promises to bring even more animated content to the streaming platform, captivating audiences with their imaginative and entertaining films.