Fox Animation, News

20th Century Fox Announces Partnership Deal with UK Studio Locksmith Animation

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20th Century Fox and Locksmith Animation logos

Twentieth Century Fox Film (TCFF) is doubling its attention to family-oriented, animated films, thanks to a new deal with an up and coming UK animation studio.

Twentieth Century Fox just announced a partnership with UK studio Locksmith Animation and will be working with the studio to distribute one animated film every 12-18 months. The companies’ first project under this agreement has already been green-lit for production.

Fox currently distributes the animated films created by Blue Sky Studios, best known for its Ice Age franchise. This partnership will provide Fox with another studio to fulfill its goal of releasing one animated film a year.

Lockmith Animation, formed in 2014, is the only high-end CG studio dedicated to producing feature animation in the UK. The studio is the brainchild of co-CEOs BAFTA award-winning director/writer/producer Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas) and producer Julie Lockhart (Shaun the Sheep Movie) as well as co-founder Elisabeth Murdoch (Masterchef). The studio will be working with visual effects company Double Negative on their feature film production pipeline.

Twentieth Century Fox Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider had this to say: “As we redouble our efforts in the family and animation space, there is no better partner in the world to welcome into our family than Locksmith. Julie and Sarah are each singular talents, and together with their vast experience and belief in the preeminence of the storyteller, they are building a world-class animation studio that is attracting top-tier talent to an ambitious slate of projects.”

Indeed, the focus of Locksmith Animation appears to be a strong story, which is refreshing given much of the derivative material and countless sequels and remakes currently dominating the marketplace. According to Locksmith’s site, the studio is “driven by a passion for original stories that combine comedy, heart, and big ideas in proper movies for smart families. Locksmith aims uniquely to connect with, inspire, entertain, and explore the world of contemporary children in stories relevant to the animation audience of today.”

Locksmith co-CEOs Smith and Lockhart seemed confident that their stories would be in good hands under Fox’s distribution. Co-founder Murdoch said of Fox: “TCFF has a first-class track record in marketing and distributing animation, and their shared appreciation of our stories make this a truly exciting partnership.”

There have been no announcements yet as to what Locksmith’s first project under Fox will be, but the studio’s collective passion and talent bode well for the future.

(Via press release.)

Edited by: Kelly Conley

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About Amber

Amber is an imaginative storyteller and visual artist whose greatest ambition is to tell meaningful stories that resonate with people. Since she was young, Amber has enjoyed escaping to faraway worlds through animation, and has continued to follow animation into adulthood because of its limitless storytelling possibilities. Picking favorites is nearly impossible, but Amber would say her top animated films include The Little Mermaid, The Incredibles, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Frozen. She graduated with a B.A. in Interactive Media/Graphic Design and a minor in Journalism, and is currently working as an advertising designer. When she’s not at her day job, Amber can be found working on digital illustrations and photo edits, drafting a new fiction story, or crafting a new cosplay. Send her a tweet at @amber_ld.

  • Fadi Antwan

    Arthur Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie and one of my all time favorite animated movies, and Shaun the Sheep is one of the funniest animated movies I’ve ever seen. If Locksmith’s films are half as good as these two, then this partnership has my infinite blessing.

    Also how awesome is it that this studio was founded by not one, not two, but THREE women in an industry historically (maybe also presently?) dominated by men! Way to go, ladies!

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m thinking of seeing Arthur Christmas. The reason I didn’t really watch it as of yet was because as much as I do believe in Santa I don’t believe he has biological kids.

      • Fadi Antwan

        Definitely watch it! One of the best things about it is its unique and fresh take on Santa Claus. The film is so charming that I think it’ll be worth it for you to see it.

        • Manuel Orozco

          Ok I’ll try and take your advice. After all just because I don’t believe Santa has real kids of his own doesn’t mean I’m like Scrooge before the visit by the three spirits.

          • Fadi Antwan

            Try to watch it around Christmas time though if you have the patience. It’s much more effective and pleasant to see then. And that’s right we often watch movies to learn of different perspectives. it’s completely fine and doesn’t mean letting go of our own beliefs.

          • Manuel Orozco

            I plan to since I may start my holiday music playlist early next week.

  • Manuel Orozco

    The announcement of the first project will decide if I’m excited for this partnership!