In the News


Netflix Sets Skydance Animation In Multi-Year Deal, First Up is Alan Menken Musical ‘Spellbound:’ Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem Star

By Mike Fleming Jr

October 18, 2023

That didn’t take long. Skydance Animation has found a new home, signing a multi-year agreement with Netflix to develop and produce animated movies to be released directly on Netflix. This deal means Skydance’s full existing animated feature slate will be released exclusively on Netflix.

Deal comes as a multi-year pact with Apple comes to an end. Skydance Animation is already staked with Netflix, and the deal expands on a number of different projects. The first new one is Spellbounda film that began its road at Apple, but will now debut on Netflix in 2024. That will be followed by Pookoo in 2025.

This deal expands on the existing relationship between the two companies who have already partnered on a number of projects including the films The Adam Project, Heart of Stone, The Old Guard, and Spy Kids: Armageddon along with the series FUBARAltered Carbon and Grace and Frankie. 

John Lasseter continues to head Skydance Animation with prexy Holly Edwards. The Skydance offshoot launched in 2017 and is based in LA and Madrid.

Netflix is coming off the Oscar for Best Animated Film with Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and the streamer adds another supplier that won’t take long to make an impact. First up is Spellbound follows the adventures of Ellian, the tenacious princess who must go on a daring quest to save her family and kingdom after a mysterious spell transforms her parents, the King and Queen of Lumbria, into monsters. Spellbound is directed by Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) with original score from composer Alan Menken with lyrics by Glenn Slater. Spellbound’s voice cast is led by West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, Nathan Lane, and Tituss Burgess. The film was written by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin and Linda Woolverton and produced by John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Bruce Anderson for Skydance Animation.

On the heels of that is Pookoo, a buddy comedy about a small woodland creature and a majestic bird, two natural sworn enemies of The Valley, that magically trade places and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. Pookoo is directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled, Tangled Ever After) with original music composed by Siddhartha Khosla. The film is produced by John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews for Skydance Animation.

Future Skydance Animation films for Netflix 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).
Nathan Greno is represented by Verve and attorney Rob Szymanski.