Animation studio Illumination has brought on Mike Moon to form a new label with the goal of widening the type of films to be more than just for kids and family entertainment. The new label will be called Moonlight.
Mike Moon previously worked as head of adult animation at Netflix during a time in which Netflix was canceling many shows and movies that were planned or in production, as well as letting many people go. He stepped down in July to “pursue other opportunities.” He has a long history of working in the animation world, starting out as an animation artist for 15 years. He then went into more executive roles at Cartoon Network, Sony, and Disney. Some of the animations he worked on are 101 Dalmations: The Series, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse, and The Mitchels vs. The Machines.
Along with his new role as president of Moonlight, Moon will serve as senior creative advisor to Illumination. Moonlight’s films will be distributed under Illumination’s distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. Illumination has said the goal is for Moonlight to “produce animated films that push beyond the family genre.”
“We have an exceptionally talented group of artists, filmmakers and producers at Illumination and believe that there is no better compliment to this team than Mike and the new company we are partnering to build,” said Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination. “He has exceptional taste, deep experience and a strong vision for the films we intend to make together. I look forward to Mike and Moonlight making a substantial contribution to Illumination’s future.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the amazing team at Illumination. Chris has created the benchmark for character, stories and innovation in animated films and I am honored to be a part of the future of this visionary studio.”Mike Moon
Moonlight will be based in Illumination’s Santa Monica headquarters, with its films produced by Illumination Studios Paris.
Illumination has a new Super Mario Bros. movie that will be expected to come out in 2023.