Details About The New John Lasseter Animated Musical “Spellbound.”

The next feature film from the partnership between Apple TV+ and Skydance Animation is the animated musical “Spellbound,” produced by veteran animation director John Lasseter, the creator of groundbreaking animated films like “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo,” as well as newer entries like “Blush” and “Luck.”

In early 2022, entertainment news outlets reported on the lucrative deal between Skydance Animation and Apple, which would see two animated films produced by Skydance. The deal gave Skydance a healthy $25 million payout for each movie and gave Apple theatrical distribution and streaming rights. The deal also allows Skydance to retain the intellectual copyright on its films produced with Apple.

Lasseter brings serious star power to “Spellbound,” with a musical score from soundtrack titan Alan Menkin of “Beauty & the Beast” and “Aladdin” fame, as well as the voice talents of a slew of award-winning actors, including Nicole Kidman, Nathan Lane, and Javier Bardem.

The script, written by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin, and Linda Woolverton, tells the story of Princess Elian, who must learn to use her magical powers to save her kingdom from the forces of light and darkness.

A magical spell breaks the kingdom into two pieces, but it’s unclear who cast the spell. A ruler from a rival kingdom, an old sorcerer who was once a member of the kingdom, and someone from within the realm itself are all possibilities.

Rachel Zegler, known for her role as Maria in the recent Spielberg remake of “West Side Story,” voices Elian. Reports suggest John Lasseter personally chose Rachel for the role after seeing her performance in “West Side Story,” believing her award-winning role in the Spielberg film would translate well to his animated fantasy film.

Vicky Jenson directs “Spellbound.” She’s an experienced Hollywood director with more than a dozen films to her credit and a career spanning more than two decades. Assisting Alan Menken with the songs and musical score are lyricist Glenn Slater and executive music producer Chris Montan.

Nicole Kidman voices Elian’s mother, Queen Ellesmere, a kind yet hyper-protective mother and the ruler of the kingdom. Javier Bardem brings his vocal talents to the character of King Solon, a kind yet proud husband.

Other well-known performers lending their voices to the animated musical include legendary Broadway and Hollywood performer Nathan Lane, who plays the Oracle of the Sun, and beloved actor John Lithgow, who plays Minister Bolinar.

Jenifer Lewis, who many viewers will remember from her role as Mama Odie in the 2009 Disney animated film “The Princess and The Frog” and her role in the television series “Black-ish,” plays Minister Narazra Prone.

“Spellbound” is the second feature film from Skydance Animation, the animation branch of Skydance Studios, founded in 2006 by David Ellison. Skydance Animation was founded in 2017, with John Lasseter coming on board in 2019.

“Spellbound” was originally announced by Skydance Animation back in 2019, and it’s just one of several animated films slated for release by the company, which include titles from well-known animation producers like Brad Bird of “The Incredibles” fame and “Nathan Greno,” who directed “Tangled.”

Lasseter’s feature film debut came in 1995 when he changed the course of the animated film industry and released the computer-generated animated movie “Toy Story.” In his current role as Head of Animation at Skydance Studios, “Spellbound” represents the second feature film from Skydance Animation.

At one point, Paramount was in line to handle the theatrical release of “Spellbound,” as well as the animated family comedy “Luck,” owing to its continued partnership with Skydance Media. However, the founder and CEO of Skydance, David Ellison, made a deal with Apple, which meant Apple would handle the theatrical distribution and streaming of the media company’s animated films.

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