Warner Bros Pictures has landed a multi-film pact with Locksmith Animation, the UK CG feature studio, to co-develop and distribute its slate of pictures.
The announcement was made by both Toby Emmerich, chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and Courtenay Valenti, president production and development, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, Co-CEOs of Locksmith.
The deal covers the development and production of family animated features for worldwide theatrical distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures. Locksmith will collaborate closely with Allison Abbate, executive vice president, Warner Animation Group to add a “fresh voice to complement the Studio’s current animation activities.”
“In recent years, animation has become a tremendously important part of our slate, and this deal with Locksmith dovetails perfectly with our forward-going plans,” said Emmerich and Valenti. “We love Sarah and Julie’s sensibilities and work, and look forward to working with them to create titles that will enchant today’s audiences and become classics for future generations of animation lovers.”
“We’re absolutely delighted to become part of the Warner Bros. family with this partnership,” said Smith and Lockhart in a joint statement. “The studio has not only a revered legacy in animation, but an outstanding record in bringing contemporary family classics to global audiences. We look forward to working with its leadership team to bring our unique voice and brand to worldwide audiences.”
Locksmith’s first feature, Ron’s Gone Wrong, is currently in production in London and will be released by Walt Disney Studios. Locksmith Animation was founded in 2014 by BAFTA Award-winning director, writer and producer Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas) and acclaimed producer Julie Lockhart (Academy Award-nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie, Pirates! Band of Misfits) together with Elisabeth Murdoch.
Warner Animation Group/Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming animated titles include SCOOB in May 2020, Tom & Jerry in April 2021 and Space Jam 2 in July 2021.