Warner Bros. Pictures Signs Multi-Film Production Deal With U.K.'s Locksmith Animation

Credit: Locksmith Animation
Sarah Smith, Elisabeth Murdoch and Julie Lockhart

The British CGI animation studio earlier had a deal with 20th Century Fox, before that studio was sold to Walt Disney.

Warner Bros. Pictures has signed a multi-film pact with Locksmith Animation, the U.K. computer-generated feature film studio, to co-develop and distribute its slate of animated movies.

The deal covers the development and production of family animated features for worldwide theatrical distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures as it bolsters its slate of family movie titles. Locksmith previously had a multi-year production partnership with 20th Century Fox Film, before that studio's sale to Walt Disney.

The company was founded in 2014 by former Aardman executives Julie Lockhart (Shaun the Sheep, Pirates! Band of Misfits) and Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas), along with Elisabeth Murdoch. Locksmith’s first feature, Ron’s Gone Wrong, is currently in production in London and will be released by Walt Disney Studios.

The new Warner Bros. production deal was unveiled by Toby Emmerich, chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and Courtenay Valenti, president production and development, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, co-CEOs of Locksmith.

“In recent years, animation has become a tremendously important part of our slate, and this deal with Locksmith dovetails perfectly with our forward-going plans,” said Emmerich and Valenti in a joint statement.

“We’re absolutely delighted to become part of the Warner Bros. family with this partnership,” said Smith and Lockhart in their own statement.