Apple TV+ presents its first animated feature film Luck.

Apple today unveiled its first feature film, Luck, released under an exclusive deal with Skydance Animation. Under a multi-year agreement, Skydance will produce animated 3D movies and TV shows exclusively for Apple TV+.

Skydance is led by longtime Pixar veteran John Lasseter (who left the company several years ago due to professional misconduct incidents) and has attracted many well-known Pixar producers who seek to recreate the Pixar formulas. regardless of Disney.

We’ll have to wait and see if Skydance can overcome the black marks of Lasseter’s bad behavior. Notably, respected actress Emma Thompson was originally signed to Luck, but publicly turned down the role after Lasseter was hired for the top job at Skydance.

The New York Times reported this week that Skydance lawyers investigated Lasseter’s claims but found “nothing egregious”. Apple does not directly mention Lasseter’s name in Luck’s marketing materials. Instead, the Good Luck trailer and promotional posters said, “From the creative visionary behind Toy Story and Cars.”

Luck is based on the assumption that the protagonist Sam Greenfield is the most unlucky person in the world. She discovers the secret Land of Fortune, where magical creatures produce luck to counteract the underworld of bad luck generation. The mythical vanity of the industry definitely has similar DNA to Monsters Inc.

Apple’s deal with Skydance is valued at hundreds of millions in real estate. (Apple also has a separate high-budget live-action deal from Skydance Pictures.) The production budget for “Good Luck” alone has stretched to around $140 million as Apple looks to recreate the charm of Disney Pixar on its streaming platform. Valuable real estate on the Apple.com homepage is now dominated by “Luck” ads, further evidence of the film’s importance to Apple’s original video efforts.

In addition to high-quality animation and CGI work, Luck features a host of voice acting talent including Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, and longtime Pixar voice artist John Ratzenberger. Eva Noblezada plays Sam.

For all that, Apple and Skydance may not have hit the jackpot the first time around. Early reviews for Good Luck are mixed, with many praising the quality of the animation but finding that the script lags behind, drawn out with too much exposition, and many unrelated plots. It may not be as memorable as a Pixar classic, but it should make a worthy family meal nonetheless.

The behind-the-scenes development of luck perhaps reflects the disjointed plot described in the reviews. Work on the film preceded Lasseter’s involvement. Upon arriving at Skydance, he tore apart most of the script and worked with the Skydance team to update it with more fantasy elements and characters such as the pink dragon (voiced by Jane Fonda).

Concept art for Skydance’s next animated film, Spellbound

The next film on Skydance-Apple’s list is the animated musical Charmed. Lasseter was involved in this project early on, unlike Luck. The all-star cast of Spellbound includes Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow and more.

Prior to the deal with Apple, Skydance Animations was a Paramount partner. Paramount previously announced the release date for Spellbound as November 2022. However, that timeline is now invalid – Paramount also said the luck would come in February 2022, which apparently didn’t happen – and Apple has yet to confirm a new official release date for the film.

Looking further ahead, Skydance is developing “Pookoo” and “Ray Gunn” as feature films for Apple (first reported in this Lasseter article from The Hollywood Reporter). Ray Gunn was born to Brad Bird, creator of Pixar’s The Incredibles franchise.

Skydance and Apple have also officially announced a television adaptation of The Search for WondLa novels, with Apple pre-ordering the show for two seasons.