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John Lasseter’s Spellbound Will Bring New Magic to Animated Film Fans

“A new John Lasseter movie” could be some of the five best words anyone can hear.

This means that he and his very talented colleagues at Skydance Animation have something amazing in store for audiences, everything from a heart-warming short animated piece to a full-length feature film.

John Lasseter certainly has a track record of creating magic at a story level and a technical level for more than 30 years.

During his time at Disney and Pixar, he was involved in some of the most successful animated features of all time, including the “Toy Story” franchise, “A Bug’s Life,” “Cars” and many others. His roles have included producer, director, voice actor, writer, and animator.

It’s certainly not a stretch to list him as one of the top figures in modern animation, along with Walt Disney, Matt Groening, and Hayao Miyazaki.

With his new role as head of animation for Skydance Animation, John Lasseter is in a perfect position to come up with new projects that it’s likely the world will enjoy.

For instance, anticipation is growing strong for “Spellbound,” which will be the company’s next film, set to premiere on the Apple+ network in 2023.

Only a few details have been publicly released, but it looks like there are all sorts of fun ingredients awaiting viewers in this film, such as a world containing lots of magic, all sorts of crazy creatures, and an amazing voice cast.

As with many other Skydance Animation films, there are expected to be elements that appeal to all ages in “Spellbound,” from cute moments that kids will laugh at to grown-up jokes that kids will miss, plus tender moments for those who like those, and lots of action scenes for those who enjoy those.

The basic plot is believed to tell the story of Princess Ellian, whose parents, the King and Queen, have fallen under a curse while trying to fight the forces of darkness. They live in the kingdom of Lumbria and are all about celebrating light.

While Ellian has some degree of her own magical powers, she’s young and hasn’t had many opportunities to try them out. But she feels she’s obligated to do everything she can to help her family and save the kingdom, so she heads out into the world.

As with many hero stories, she meets plenty of people along the way who she needs to convince to help her and even befriend. She also meets people who want to oppose and thwart her efforts or at least plant doubts in her head about her objectives and abilities.

Expect to find things to laugh about and lots of lessons to learn. There will also likely be moments of concern but nothing overly frightening or too intense for younger viewers.

“Spellbound” has also revealed quite a roster of voice talent, starting with Rachel Zegler who plays Princess Ellian. Her acting and singing were previously heard in “West Side Story.”

Joining her includes notable performers Nicole Kidman and Javier Barden, as well as Nathan Lane and John Lithgow.

Expect to see plenty of promotion as the movie gets closer and closer to its release, including some clever toys, plush figures, and more.

Other projects

“Spellbound” comes on the heels of other successful recent Skydance Animation projects.

In 2021, the company released “Blush,” a science fiction short feature showing the story of an astronaut/herbalist who is stranded on a strange planet.

Earlier in 2022, the company released “Luck,” which was a heartwarming all-ages story that offers an interesting explanation of why we have any luck in the world, and why it isn’t always a good thing to be lucky all the time (or unlucky all the time, for that matter.)

The story revolves around a teen who feels she never experienced anything but bad luck. But then, thanks to a strange coin and a mysterious talking cat, she learns a lot about how everything is supposed to balance out, and how every experience, lucky or unlucky, can teach us something.

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