Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, has chosen Mike Moon to form a new label, Moonlight. The goal is to expand the range of films that Illumination makes beyond the child-friendly fare that has been its commercial action.
Moon most recently served as Netflix’s head of adult animation, a position he resigned from in July to “pursue other opportunities.” His exit came when the streamer, hit by a fainting stock price, was firing the animators and recomposing his ambitions in space. In addition to his new role as president of Moonlight, the company said Moon will serve as a senior creative consultant for Illumination. The Moonlight films will be distributed as part of Illumination’s distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. Illumination said the goal is for Moonlight to “produce animated films that go beyond the family genre.”
“We have a group of exceptionally talented artists, directors and producers at Illumination and we believe there is no better compliment to this team than Mike and the new company we are collaborating to build,” said Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination. in a statement. “He has exceptional taste, profound experience and a strong vision for the films we intend to make together. I can’t wait for Mike and Moonlight to make a substantial contribution to the future of Illumination. ”
Moon began his career as an animation artist for 15 years. He subsequently moved on to executive roles at Sony, Disney and Cartoon Network. In those companies and on Netflix, Moon has worked on films such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”. Moon recently worked as a producer on Netflix’s next movie “Entergalactic”, a special streaming music from Kenya Barris and Kid Cudi.
Moon said, “I am thrilled to be joining the fantastic Illumination team. Chris created the benchmark for character, stories and innovation in animated films and I am honored to be part of the future of this visionary studio. “
In addition to all the “Minions” stuff, the Illumination films include “Dr. The Grinch of Seuss, “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing”. The company is also working on a new Super Mario Bros. movie due out in 2023.
Moonlight will be based at Illumination headquarters in Santa Monica, with its films produced by Illumination Studios Paris.