Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

Skydance Animation’s upcoming musical fairy tale Spellbound will feature an original score and songs composed by the team of Alan Menken and Glen Slater. The duo previously teamed up for the 2010 Disney animated feature Tangled and wrote the hit song “I See the Light.”

At least one of the new Spellbound songs will be a ballad similar to “I See the Light.” Another tune will be a big opening number to set the scene.

Menken has won eight Oscars, 11 Grammies, and seven Golden Globe awards for scores and songs that were featured in films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Little Mermaid. He also won a Tony Award.

Menken is just one of several talented film names to join Skydance Animation.

John Lasseter became the director of animation at Skydance in 2019 and will produce Spellbound. Lasseter worked on several Disney films, including The Fox and the Hound. He eventually moved to Pixar, where he became a pioneer in computer graphics imagery (CGI projects). At Pixar, he directed Toy Story and its sequels.

John Lasseter later became chief creative officer at Pixar and several Disney studios, working on films such as Finding Nemo, Frozen, Brave, and A Bug’s Life. He has earned two Academy Awards. The first was Best Animated Film for Tin Toy; the second was a Special Achievement Award for Toy Story, the first fully computer-animated feature. John Lasseter’s films have grossed more than $19 billion, and he is one of the most successful filmmakers.

Lasseter also oversaw theme park expansion and Disneyland features at Disney.

Rich Moore, former CCO of the Walt Disney animation studio, will also work on Spellbound. Moore won a Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2017 for Zootopia. Moore also advised on Frozen, Tangled, and other films. Before working for Disney, Moore won a Primetime Emmy for directing an episode of The Simpsons entitled “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment” and an Emmy for the Futurama episode Roswell That Ends Well.”


In Spellbound, a spell has turned the king and queen of Lumbria into monsters. Their daughter, Ellen, must manage the kingdom, break the spell, and save the lives of everyone in the kingdom. The fantasy kingdom “Lumbria” is based on ancient Spanish architecture; it features Moorish arches and rooftops.

Rachel Zegler will voice the daughter’s character. Other voices will include John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, Nathan Lane, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, and Tituss Burgess.

Vicky Jenson will direct the film, which will premiere on the Apple TV+ network in 2024. Jensen previously directed Shark Tale and Shrek, which won an Oscar in 2001. Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin, and Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay.

Skydance Animation

Skydance Animation is a division of Skydance Productions, which began producing motion pictures in 2006. Skydance’s first feature film was a re-imagining of True Grit, which won 10 Oscars and became the highest-grossing Western of all time.

Skydance Animation came into existence in March 2017 in a partnership with Ilion Studios in Madrid. In 2020, Skydance acquired Ilion and renamed it Skydance Animation Madrid. The company also has a creative studio in Connecticut.

Despite its youth, Skydance Animation has quickly risen to the top of the industry. John Lasseter has played a key role in this growth.

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