Monday, July 10, 2017

From the Moon to the Mountain: Ex-DreamWorks President Heads Up Paramount Animation

Once again, the mountain's animation wing continues to evolve...

A former co-president of DreamWorks who went down during the Comcast acquisition of the studio, veteran Mireille Soria is now looking to head up Paramount Animation. Not a studio of course, but a tree that animated projects fall under, be they Nickelodeon show-based movies (Sponge out of Water, Loud House) or new IPs (Amusement Parks). Basically Warner Animation Group, but without a snazzy name or logo.

Paramount has been seeing changes lately, now that they have a new CEO and all. They've had it rough lately, outside of some flagship franchises like Mission: Impossible and small-scale successes like 10 Cloverfield Lane, so it looks like they'll be rebuilding some areas. Before the previous CEO's ouster, Paramount's animation wing was seemingly heading for a fall. After charging out of the gate with SpongeBob movie numero due, the initiative seemingly went nowhere as announced projects were left to wither, and then the name was attached to the disaster-in-the-making that was Monster Trucks. Other debacles included the last-minute cancelling of The Little Prince's domestic theatrical release, and them bailing on their plans to partner up with the studio behind the Spanish animated film series Tadeo Jones. (Tad, the Lost Explorer, as it was called here.)

Here's the expectedly corporate statement from the CEO, Jim Gianopulos, on this new move...

"I’ve known and have worked with Mireille for many years and know that with her running our animation group, Paramount continues to build a great team for the future. With her creative instinct and talents, Mireille will help us grow the studio and develop a strong slate strategy in animation."

And from Soria herself...

"I’m ecstatic to join such a legendary team of brilliant and successful filmmakers who understand good storytelling, and thrive on the wonderful, creative, and unique entertainment we get to bring to audiences worldwide. I can’t wait to get started."

This is Paramount Animation's slate right now, which indicates that they were willing to improve after the whole Monster Trucks debacle. Somewhat...

03/23/2018 - Sherlock Gnomes (Rocket/Starz)
08/10/2018 - Amusement Park (Ilion)
03/22/2019 - "Untitled Paramount/Nickelodeon Animation"
08/02/2019 - Untitled SpongeBob Film
02/07/2020 - The Loud House Movie (Nickelodeon)
07/31/2020 - "Untitled Paramount/Nickelodeon Hybrid"

Very Nick-heavy, plus Amusement Park is intended to launch a Nickelodeon TV series. I assume the same for all their future originals.

I can only imagine what direction they'll go in, but hopefully we get good results. They at least need to get on track and make good films, though I doubt we'll be seeing any innovation from this relative newcomer. It's clear that they too will keep it all in the family-friendly box like nearly everyone else is doing... So that being said, I just hope for films that at least stand out and not homogenous Minions-y mush. With SpongeBob numero tre and maybe Loud House, we'll at least get some 2D animation on the big screen.

What say you?


  1. You made a mistake by saying that Amusement Park was set for 7/13/2018 when it's actually 8/10/2018.

    1. Okay, any other thoughts on this development?

    2. Well, I'm happy for Mrs. Soria. I wish her the best at Paramount.

  2. Looks interesting so far. I think Paramount has the potential to once again be a champion in animation like they were during the Golden Age of Animation.