On June 13, Skydance Animation released the latest details about its newest musical, Spellbound, a monster-filled fairy tale set to debut on Apple TV+ in 2024. Along with a captivating image of the title character, along with a truly unforgettable ride, the studio shared some of the action going on behind the scenes. We’ll look at how John Lasseter’s latest venture is turning heads and why this film’s magical storyline will resonate with viewers of all ages.
Spellbound is about a princess who has been left to rule alone after a spell turned her parents into monsters. Not only is she on her own, but she needs to keep the spell a secret from the rest of the kingdom. Princess Ellian must keep their transformation a secret, but it’s not easy to keep her now unruly parents from the world. Ellian is dealing with a lot of burdens on her shoulders. Her parents don’t know who she is, they seem committed to destroying their castle, and if word got out, everything would come crashing down around her.
Spellbound boasts some big names among its main characters, including Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman as king and queen. The lead taking center stage is the young Rachel Zegler, best known for her turn as Maria in the latest version of West Side Story. Nathan Lane, Andre De Shields, Titus Burgess, and Jennifer Lewis fill out the rest of the voice cast.
When asked why this film is a musical, director Vicky Jenson commented that the movie tackles some very big emotions from start to finish: anger, heartbreak, and enthusiasm. Feelings take center stage for all of the characters. When the circumstances are almost too much to handle, the idea is that you need to sing the words rather than say or shout them.
Belting it out is not just a way for kids and adults alike to quench some of the overload; it’s a way for scenes to come alive in new ways. The score and songs are all courtesy of Alan Menken, who also composed for Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Lyrics were written by Glenn Slater of Tangled.
John Lasseter is the legend leading Skydance Animation. His films are chosen not just because of their flawless animation and exciting action sequences. He wants his movies to have a bigger message for the audience, and based on the reception, he has managed to make a big impression since he joined the ranks.
Director Vicky Jenson praised Skydance for the company’s ability to find a niche in a crowded animated market. She said that she was drawn to the script, written by Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek, and Linda Woolverton because it’s about a family going through a hard time.
John Lasseter at Skydance
John Lasseter is the head of growth, operations, and strategy at Skydance Animation. He comes from Pixar, so he knows a thing or two about the kinds of movies that appeal to families. Along with fellow Spellbound producers David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Bruce Anderson, he’s excited to bring new stories, voices, and characters to families in 2024.
The collaboration with Apple TV is a victory for Skydance Animation, a division of Skydance Productions. This arm of the company has only been around for a few years, and it has already made a big splash in the industry. With Lasseter at the helm, it’s unlikely to slow down anytime soon.