Illumination has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. In April 2016, it was announced that Universal's parent company and Comcast subsidiary, NBCUniversal, would purchase rival studio DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. The effects of the acquisition to Illumination wasn't made clear, other then bringing the two studios under the same roof and shaking up the release dates of both companies' future films. Illumination is expected to remain a separate brand from DreamWorks for the time being, making the two sister brands. In contrast, Laika, which co-produced its first four films under Universal Pictures's Focus Features label, remains an independent studio unaffiliated with NBCUniversal or Comcast.
List of films produced by Illumination Entertainment:
- Despicable Me (2010)
- Hop (2011)
- The Lorax (2012)
- Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem (short, 2012)
- Despicable Me 2 (2013)
- Minions (2015)
- The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
- Sing (2016)
- Despicable Me 3 (2017)
- The Grinch (2018)
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
- Sing 2 (2021)
- Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)
- Super Mario Bros. (2022)
Tropes associated with Illumination:
- Denser and Wackier: Compared to the other main animation studios they go up against, most of the movies produced by Illumination tend to be relatively straight comedies.
- Dueling Movies: Sing with Disney's Zootopia; both films boast an all-animal cast.
- Karma Houdini: In all their movies, there is at least one character who manages to evade the consequences of some form of negative behavior.
- Logo Joke: The studio is famous for its various vanity plates featuring the Minions engaging in some kind of humorous activity.
- Noodle People: A lot of their characters tend to be pretty skinny.
- Running Gag: Expect disco to pop up somewhere in their movies.
- Spiritual Successor: To Blue Sky Studios: A CGI studio that focuses on the franchise spun from its first release, which in turn is increasingly driven by the Plucky Comic Relief. Theyre both perennially regarded as lesser than their competition, yet both still have their fans who grew up on them and see their own merits. It helps that founder Chris Meledandri was a former executive at Blue Sky. This became even more true after Blue Sky was shut down in early 2021.
- Production Posse: When it comes to the "additional voices", expect at least one of the following actors: Lori Alan, Carlos Alazraqui, Cathy Cavadini, Townsend Coleman , Jim Cummings, Bill Farmer, Keith Ferguson, Jess Harnell, Danny Mann, Laraine Newman, Mindy Sterling, Tara Strong, and Jim Ward. For their Japanese dubs, expect this to happen with Kōichi Yamadera and Mamoru Miyano.
- Also, expect there to be music (or a character voiced) by Pharrell Williams