Apple and Skydance Animation announce a multi-year partnership

Following a report back in December, it looks like Apple is finally ready to secure a major partnership with another studio. This time it’s an animation studio, and two films may already be in the pipeline.

Back in December, there was a report that circulated saying Apple TV+ may secure the rights to two films from producer John Lasseter: Spellbound and Luck. At the time, it was suggested that Apple’s securing of those two films would also lead to a larger partnership between Apple and the production company behind them, Skydance Animation.

And, now it’s official. Variety has the initial report today, but it sounds like Apple will make an announcement regarding the partnership soon enough. Per the original report, though, Apple and Skydance Animation have entered into a multi-year partnership, which will indeed begin with the two aforementioned animated films. What’s more, Apple says it will launch the “first-ever theatrical-quality animated television series” for Apple TV+ at some point in the future.

Skydance Animation is a division of Ellison’s Skydance Media, which is run by John Lasseter and president Holly Edwards. The deal reunites Lasseter with the Cupertino giant decades after he founded Pixar with the late Steve Jobs.

The report says that the series is called The Search for WondLa, which already has a two-season order. The series is based on the book series written by Tony DiTerlizzi. Lauren Montgomery is serving as showruner, executive producer, and lead writer. DiTerlizzi, Chad Quant, and the Gotham Group are also producing.

The report also says that additional animated titles are going to be announced in the “coming months”.

Here’s the original reporting on both Luck and Spellbound:

Both of the films were originally set to release in 2022. Luck is directed by Peggy Holmes (Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas) and follows the ‘unluckiest girl’ in the world. The description of the films adds, “’When she stumbles upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck, she must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerfulthan even luck itself’.

Those who have seen Luck have called it ‘vintage Lasseter’, according to the original report, due to the ‘dazzling production value and commercial appeal’.

Meanwhile, Spellbound is a musical set in a fantastical kingdom ‘where a young girl sets out to break the spell that has split her kingdom in two’.

No release date for the series, or the two animated films, just yet. But that will probably change soon enough.