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The companies announce the deal with three already approved titles in development – the first release due 2020.

HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 4th, 2016) – Paramount Pictures and Locksmith Animation jointly announced today that they have entered into an arrangement to co-develop and co-produce a series of animated projects for the studio.

Under the agreement, Paramount and Locksmith are progressing three current properties, which Locksmith has been developing since its inception in 2014, with plans to head into production within the next twelve months and to release the first theatrical motion picture in 2020. The deal also contemplates developing other projects together over time to create a pipeline of releases.

Locksmith Animation is the UK’s first dedicated high-end CG feature animation studio. The company was founded by writer/director Sarah Smith (“ARTHUR CHRISTMAS”) and producer Julie Lockhart (“SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE,” “PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS!”), and launched in 2014 with the backing of media business leader Elisabeth Murdoch.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Elisabeth Murdoch and Locksmith Animation to develop an exciting series of new films,” said Brad Grey, Chairman & CEO, Paramount Pictures. “The unparalleled experience and talents of Elisabeth, Sarah and Julie will enrich our animation studio and further our commitment to creating world-class entertainment for audiences of all ages around the world.”

Smith said, “We are delighted Paramount have responded with enthusiasm to our ambitious and original slate of films, and will go forward to take them to a global audience.”

Added Lockhart: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build London as a world-class animation hub. Paramount has a wealth of experience and expertise in distributing animated features and we are thrilled to partner in this venture.”