Skydance Media Acquires Animation Unit of Madrid's Ilion Studios

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David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media

The deal will form Skydance Animation Madrid to combine "the creative capital of Skydance with Ilion’s best-in-class talent, ensuring Skydance Animation’s full oversight of all production aspects."

Skydance Media, the media company founded by David Ellison in 2010, on Monday said it has acquired the animation unit of Madrid-based Ilion Studios to form Skydance Animation Madrid.

"This strategic acquisition combines the creative capital of Skydance with Ilion’s best-in-class talent, ensuring Skydance Animation’s full oversight of all production aspects guaranteeing quality control throughout the life cycle of every project," the company said.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. 

It will boost the combined workforce of Skydance Animation to almost 500 employees across two continents, giving it the "expanded creative capability, scale and leverage to deliver on its goal of becoming an industry-leading producer of high-end animated films and television series for audiences around the world."

Led by John Lasseter and Holly Edwards, Skydance Animation has rapidly grown to support an expanding development and production slate. 

"The world is going through an unprecedented and uncertain time," said David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media. "Today’s acquisition marks the culmination of many months of work to build one studio across two continents, with the goal of creating the highest-quality animation, led by best-in-class talent from around the world. The addition of Skydance Animation Madrid to our portfolio of businesses underlines my passion and commitment to bringing iconic animated stories and characters to life from some of the most talented artists and voices in the industry.”

Said Ignacio Pérez Dolset, founder, president and chief creative officer of Ilion: "We are excited to expand our partnership with Skydance Animation and to further collaborate with Skydance founder David Ellison and elite talent like John Lasseter and Holly Edwards. This is a phenomenal growth opportunity for our team in Spain and we’re proud to be an integral part of Skydance’s exciting future."

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), Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (the Kung Fu Panda series), which is about the unluckiest girl alive who stumbles upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck; Spellbound (working title), directed by Vicky Jenson (Shrek) and written by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin (Mulan) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), which is a musical fantasy set in a world of magic where a young girl sets out to break the spell that has split her kingdom in two; and Pookoo (working title), written and directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled) and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook (The Princess and the Frog). 

In addition, Skydance Animation said it has a slate of soon-to-be-announced high-end television series in various stages of development.