David Ellison

Source: Skydance Media

David Ellison

Skydance Media has acquired the animation unit of Madrid-based Ilion Studios to form Skydance Animation Madrid led by John Lasseter.

The strategic acquisition combines Skydance’s creative capital and Ilion’s talent and creates a combined workforce of close to 500 employees.

Lasseter and Holly Edwards lead Skydance Animation, whose feature slate includes Luck, about an unlucky girl who uncovers a force more powerful than luck itself; musical fantasy Spellbound (working title); and Pookoo (working title).

The roster of creatives include Shrek director Vicky Jenson (Spellbound), Peggy Holmes (Luck), Tangled director Nathan Greno (Pookoo), Kiel Murray, Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin, and Linda Woolverton.

Skydance Animation is expected to announce shortly a slate of high-end television series in various stages of development.

“The world is going through an unprecedented and uncertain time,” said Skydance CEO Media David Ellison. “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.”

“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,” said Ignacio Pérez Dolset, founder, president and CEO of Ilion. “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.”

Latham & Watkins LLP (Los Angeles and Madrid) acted as legal adviser to Skydance Media and Loyra Abogados (Madrid) provided counsel to Ilion in the transaction.