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