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. They also made The Secret Life of Pets and the World of Funny Animals-set Sing in 2016.

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. This makes DWA a sister brand to Illumination alongside Focus Features' Laika stop-motion group, though because it is independent from Focus and is run entirely by Nike co-founder Travis Knight, Meledandri and now-ex DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (who currently is in semi-retirement) have zero authority over Laika.

List of films produced by Illumination Entertainment:

Tropes associated with Illumination Entertainment:

  • Cerebus Syndrome: Sing, while not without its humor, is a little more serious and grounded in reality compared to some of their other works.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to the other animation studios they go up against, most of the movies produced by Illumination are a lot more comedy focused.
  • Dueling Movies: Sing with Disney's Zootopia; both films boast an all-animal cast.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Their films often have some pretty raunchy humor here and there (especially evident in the Despicable Me films).
  • Karma Houdini: In all their movies, there is at least one character who manages to evade the consequences of some form of negative behavior.
  • Noodle People: A lot of their characters tend to be pretty skinny.
  • Running Gag: Expect disco to pop up somewhere in their movies.