Illumination Hires Netflix’s Mike Moon To Diversify Its Animation Roster

The last few months haven’t really been good for Western animation. Between various canceled projects or removals of old series on HBO Max and ongoing Netflix series being put on hiatus or completely shut down, it can feel like the landscape will be in a very different place by 2023.

Amid all of this, Illumination is looking to expand its movies from kid-friendly fare like Minions and the next mario film. Variety reports that the production company recently hired Mike Moon, who recently left Netflix after serving as head of adult animation. In addition to serving as senior creative advisor for Illumination, Moon’s new label Moonlight has a stated goal to “produce animated films that go beyond the family genre.”

“[Mike] has exceptional taste, deep experience and a strong vision for the films we intend to make together,” Chris Meledandri, CEO and Founder of Illumination, wrote in a press release. “I look forward to Mike and Moonlight making a substantial contribution to Illumination’s future.”

Said Moon: “I’m thrilled to join the incredible team at Illumination. Chris has set the benchmark for characters, stories and innovation in animated films and I’m honored to be a part of the future of this visionary studio.

Outside of Netflix, Moon’s previous credits include Cartoon Network, Disney, and Sony. His resume ranges from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends at Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Inside Job, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Most recently, he served as an executive producer on Kid Cudi’s entergalactic series for Netflix. One of the biggest hurdles to recognizing animation as a valid medium is that it’s largely children’s movies or shows. If Moon and Illumination can pull it off, then more variety would go a long way to changing the public image of the industry.

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