Today Apple TV+ has premiered its Pixar-competitor Luck, the first feature film that’s part of an exclusive deal between the streaming service and Skydance animation. According to a multi-year deal, Skydance will produce 3D animated movies and TV shows exclusively for Apple TV+.
Skydance is led by John Lasseter, a former member of Pixar. Lasseter left the company years ago due to incidents allegedly involving professional misconduct. In addition to Lasseter, several other high-profile producers joined him in an attempt to recreate Pixar magic without the involvement of Disney.
Apple TV+ Looking for Pixar-Charm With ‘Luck’
Lasseter’s involvement has stirred controversy. Originally Emma Thompson was slated for Luck, though the actress publicly departed from the role after news Lasseter was hired for Skydance. A report from The New York Times indicates that Skydance lawyers investigated Lester, yet found “nothing egregious”.
However, this has not stopped Apple from ensuring that Lasseter’s name is nowhere near marketing materials for Luck. Instead, the trailer and poster reads, “From the creative visionary behind Toy Story and Cars”.
Concerning Luck, the story follows Sam Greenfield and her being the unluckiest person in the world. Greenfield discovers the Land of Luck, a secret and magical world where creatures manufacturer luck in an effort to fight the bad luck generation. Luck features voice acting by Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, and the legendary Pixar voice artist John Ratzenberger. Eva Noblezada plays Sam.
For Apple, the company is paying top-dollar for the production, likely in an effort to compete with Disney’s Pixar. According to reports, Apple’s deal with Skydance is valued at hundred of millions per property. Cupertino also has another high-budget deal with Skydance Pictures for live-action movies.
In terms of Luck, it seems like Apple may be taking a gamble. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film is currently sitting at a 49% critics score, and a 74% audience score. According to the Critics Consensus, the film is “inoffensive”, though reviews suggest there are far more entertaining options out there.
Of course, when it comes to family-entertainment, reviews don’t necessarily bring in money. When it comes to family-entertainment and the big dollars, the smart move is typically in merchandising.
Behind-The-Scenes of ‘Luck’
According to reports, behind-the-scenes issues may be responsible for for some of Luck’s mixed-reviews. With the film predating Lasseter’s involvement, his arrival at Skydance saw him tearing up the script and revamping it alongside Skydance. This includes adding a pink dragon voiced by Jane Fonda.
Apple is heavily promoting the film. In addition to Luck taking up a large portion of apple.com real-estate, Apple is also giving away three months of Apple TV+ to Apple Card users. This promotion appears within the Apple Wallet app below the Apple Card menu for making payments.
Anyone with an Apple Card is able to access the promotion page and redeem the offer. They have until Oct. 31. Both new and existing Apple TV+ subscribers may redeem the offer. At the end of the three-month period, subscriptions will auto renew at $4.99 per month until cancelled.
In terms of Apple and Skydance, the next film slated for release is Spellbound, an animated musical. Unlike Luck, Lasseter saw involvement on the project during early stages. The cast of Spellbound includes Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow and more.
Apple has yet to confirm an official date for Spellbound.
Additionally, Skydance is also developing the feature films Pookoo and Ray Gunn for Apple. Brad Bird, creator of Pixar’s The Incredibles franchise, will be delivering Ray Gunn for Apple TV+.
Lastly, Skydance and Apple have also officially made an announcement for the TV series adaptation of The Search for WondLa novels. Apple is giving the series a two-season order.
While Luck may not see any award-nominations, it is still likely to find an audience where’s it looking: families and children.
Are you going to watch Luck? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.