Creator / Illumination Entertainment

Illumination Entertainment is an American film production company, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007. It has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures and it is based in Santa Monica, California. The company is best known for its 2010 animated feature Despicable Me, which was the first film by the company. The spin-off prequel Minions was released in summer 2015. The company's next endeavors are The Secret Life of Pets, the World of Funny Animals-set Sing, and an adaptation of the Clifford books, all due for 2016-17.

In April 2016, Universal's parent company Comcast/NBCUniversal announced that it would purchase Illumination competitor DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. The effects of the acquisition to Illumination wasn't made clear, though it's expected to remain a separate brand from DreamWorks for the time being. However, since Meledandri will head both studios once the deal is finalized by the end of the year, there is a possibility that the two companies will be brought under one umbrella, similar to the structure of the Walt Disney Animation Units and Pixar, all owned by Disney.

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