Skydance Animation and Apple TV, which have a multi-year partnership, are all set to launch Luck and Spellbound for release in 2022. Both these animation movies were produced by legendary animation executive John Lasseter.
Apple needed more content to attract younger audiences like Disney+ and Netflix; hence, it went on pouring resources into expanding its online animations and family-friendly offerings by making a deal with Skydance Animation for animation films and TV shows.
The Spellbound movie follows a princess named Elian who wants to prevent her kingdom from being divided by the forces of light and darkness. The film is about how Elian comes of age to use her magical powers to protect her family from these threatening forces. Rachel Zelger will be voicing the lead role in the movie—Princess Elian. The movie is still in production and is slated for release on 11 November 2022.
As a result of her outstanding performance in Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story, Rachel Zelger is reported to have been handpicked for the voice of Elian by John Lasseter and the rest of his team. Since Spellbound is a musical itself, Zelger’s award-winning role as an actress and singer in the musical film made her the ideal choice for the role of the lead voice actor in Spellbound.
Under John Lasseter’s leadership, Vicky Jenson directed the movie Spellbound, Lasseter’s second animated movie at Skydance Animation since he was employed as the head of Skydance Animation in January 2019.
Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin, and Linda Woolverton have written the film’s storyline. Spellbound’s original soundtrack was composed by Academy Award–winner Alan Menken. Glenn Slater wrote the lyrics for the film’s original soundtrack. Chris Montan is the executive music producer, working under Lasseter’s supervision and direction. The co-producers for the film are Dana Goldberg, David Alison, David Lipman, and John Lasseter.
Academy Award–winners Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are expected to star as voice actors in Spellbound, adding more star power to the already star-studded cast of the movie. Kidman will be voicing the queen of Lumbria, who plays a kind, honest, and hyper-precise mother and the ruler of her kingdom. The character Solon will be voiced by Bardem, known for being a boastful and big-hearted king and husband to Ellesmere, Lumbria’s queen.
The cast includes big names, including multi-award winner John Lithgow, who voices Minister Bolinar of the Kingdom of Lumbria. Jenifer Lewis, who voiced Tiana in The Princess and The Frog, will play the voice of Minister Nazara Prone. Nathan Lane will be performing voiceover work as the Oracle of the Sun in the upcoming film. Emmy Award–winner Andres De Shields of Hadestown will be playing the Oracle of the Moon in Spellbound. The cast also includes Jordan Fisher of To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You as the character Callan.
Paramount was originally going to release both upcoming projects, Luck and Spellbound, from Skydance Media, since both the films were slated for a theatrical release. However, after David Ellison—founder and CEO of Skydance—made a deal with Apple TV, both animated movies were set to be released by Apple. With its promising storyline and stellar cast, Spellbound promises to be another masterpiece by John Lasseter.
About John Lasseter
John Lasseter is the Head of Animation at Skydance Animation. He was the former Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, where his role was to maintain creative oversight on all films from both studios and Disneytoons Studios. Lasseter is known to be the pioneer of using computer-generated animation in the film industry, changing the course of the entire animation industry.
His directorial debut was in 1995 with Toy Story, which was also the world’s first feature-length, computer-generated animated film. The film won him a Special Achievement Academy Award. It was also a milestone for the entire animation category as it was the first time an animated feature was ever recognized for that award. Lasseter went on to direct several iconic animated movies, including A Bug’s Life, Cars, and Toy Story 2, to name just a few. Until he transitioned to Skydance, he worked as the executive producer of all Pixar films that followed.