Skydance Media acquires Ilion Studios’ animation unit

Skydance Media, founded by CEO David Ellison in 2010, has acquired the animation unit of Madrid-based Ilion Studios, to form Skydance Animation Madrid. The two companies have had a multi-year partnership in place since 2017, under which they developed and produced animated feature films and TV shows in Spain, but this move allows Skydance to have access to Ilion’s talent, while giving in full oversight of all production and quality control throughout the whole process, according to Skydance Media. This brings Skydance Animation up to more than 500 employees across two continents, led by ex-Pixar exec John Lasseter, who left Disney at the end of 2018 following numerous allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior. He then joined Skydance in early 2019. The studio’s roster of creatives has grown to include an array of award-winning talent, including Vicky Jenson, director of Shrek; Peggy Holmes; Nathan Greno; Kiel Murray; Lauren Hynek; Elizabeth Martin; and Tony Award-nominee and Writers Guild of America West’s Animation Writers Caucus lifetime achievement honoree Linda Woolverton. Skydance Animation’s upcoming feature slate includes Luck, directed by Peggy Holmes (The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning) and written by Kiel Murray (Cars, Cars 3) and Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda movies); Spellbound, directed by Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) and written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin (Mulan [2020]) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King); and Pookoo, Written and directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled) and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook (The Princess and the Frog).