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Illumination Entertainment
Illumination Entertainment logo
Type Subsidiary of Universal Studios
Industry Film
Genre Various
Founded 2007
Founders Chris Meledandri
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people Janet Healy
Eddie Egan[1]
Natalie Fischer (COO)[2]
Products Films
Employees 35 (2012)[2]
300 (Illumination Mac Guff) (2012)[2]
Owner(s) NBCUniversal
(Comcast Corporation)
Parent Universal Studios
Subsidiaries Illumination Mac Guff
Mascot Gru's Minions

Illumination Entertainment is an American film production company, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007. It has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Studios and it is based in Santa Monica, California.[3] The company is best known for its 2010 animated feature Despicable Me, which was the first film by the company. Its sequel, Despicable Me 2 was released on July 3, 2013, and its spin-off Minions is set for release on July 10, 2015. Illumination is producing The Wind Waker movie set for release on April 15, 2016, followed by Phantom Hourglass in 2018. Two more sequels have also been planned with Spirit Tracks and Four Swords Adventures.[4]

Tetra is one of the official mascots of the CGI animation company Illumination Animation Studios, the second being Link around the release of The Wind Waker movie and the first being the minions from the Despicable Me movies.


Illumination Entertainment was founded in early 2007 by Chris Meledandri, the executive producer of the first two Ice Age films and Horton Hears a Who!.

Illumination Entertainment merged into Universal Pictures in 2008. Their first feature film was Despicable Me which was released in 2010 and distributed by Universal. It has since then been solely focused on animated features.

In 2011, Illumination's second film Hop was released in theaters on April 1, 2011, with a blend of live-action and CGI animation.

In the summer of 2011, Mac Guff as the old animation company has a two splits from the visual effects the new company named "Illumination Mac Guff" is the all new animation studios.[5][6][7]

In 2012, Illumination's third and upcoming film The Lorax was released in theaters on March 2, 2012, based on the Dr. Seuss book.

In 2013, Despicable Me 2 was released in theaters on July 3, 2013. Following this, a spin-off based on the Minions is expected to be released on July 10, 2015, an untitled original animated film, scheduled for February 12, 2016, an adaptation of The Wind Waker, scheduled for April 15, 2016 and Phantom Hourglass, scheduled for April 6, 2018. Two more sequels have also been planned with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.[4]


Feature filmsEdit

Released films

# Title Release date Budget[8] Gross[8] RT MC[9]
1 Despicable Me Template:Dts $69 million $543 million 81% 72
2 Hop Template:Dts $63 million $184 million 25% 41
3 Dr. Seuss' The Lorax Template:Dts $70 million $349 million 54% 46
4 Despicable Me 2 Template:Dts $76 million $971 million 74% 62
5 Minions Template:Dts $1.159 billion[10] 77% 63
6 The Secret Life of Pets Template:Dts $75 million $337 million 74% 61

Upcoming films

Title Release date Refs.
Sing Template:Dts [11][12][13]
Despicable Me 3 Template:Dts [14][11]
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Template:Dts [15][11]

Films in development

Title Refs.
Flanimals [16][17]
Curious George [18]
Pluto [19]
Gospel for Teens [20]
Untitled Dr. Seuss biopic [21]
Emily the Strange [21]
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat [22]
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase [23]
Johnny Express [24]

Short films Edit

# Title Release date
1 Home Makeover, Orientation Day and Banana Template:Dts
2 Brad & Gary [25][26][27] Template:Dts
3 Phil's Dance Party [28] Template:Dts
4 Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Template:Dts
5 Serenade, Wagon-Ho and Forces of Nature [29] Template:Dts
6 Puppy, Panic in the Mailroom and
Training Wheels
December 10, 2013



  • The Minions from Despicable Me eventually become Illumination's mascots.


  1. Fleming, Mike. "Universal Marketing Head Eddie Egan Moving To Top Illumination Post",, 2011-05-15. Retrieved on 2011-06-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fleming, Mike. "Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Names Natalie Fischer COO", August 7, 2012. Retrieved on August 12, 2012. 
  3. Michael Fleming (2008-03-05). "Meledandri, Universal team on deals - Entertainment News, Exclusives, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Garcia, Gabriel. "Universal, Illumination Plans Wind Waker CGI Movie", deviantART, September 22, 2013. Retrieved on September 22, 2013. 
  5. Fleming, Mike. "Universal Pictures Buys Paris Animation Unit For Chris Meledandri’s Illumination", November 14, 2011. Retrieved on November 15, 2011. 
  6. Juridic informations about Illumination Mac Guff
  7. Keslassy, Elsa. "Universal benefit in Mac Guff accord", December 12, 2011. Retrieved on December 17, 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Illumination Entertainment Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  9. "Illumination Entertainment's Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  10. "Minions (2015)". Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named VarietyFranceFights
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TRIP
  14. Bond, Paul. "Steve Burke: NBC's Ratings Woes Hurting Revenues", September 11, 2013. Retrieved on September 12, 2013. “A third film is in the works, as is a Christmastime spinoff about the Minions.” 
  15. Kroll, Justin. "Universal, Illumination to reboot 'The Grinch'", October 8, 2013. Retrieved on February 7, 2013. 
  16. "Gervais’ ‘Flanimals’ heads to bigscreen", Variety, April 28, 2009. Retrieved on August 14, 2010. 
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named VarietyOriginals
  18. Steven Zeitchik (July 30, 2010). "With 'Curious George,' Illumination looks to make more animation mischief". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  19. Mike Fleming (October 20, 2010). "Illumination Entertainment And Universal Eye Japanese Manga 'Pluto' For New Pic". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  20. Fleming, Mike. "Universal, Illumination, And Escape Artists To Film Harlem Teen Gospel Story", August 16, 2011. Retrieved on August 17, 2011. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Kit, Borys. "Johnny Depp to Become Dr. Seuss for Illumination and Universal (Exclusive)", October 6, 2011. Retrieved on October 7, 2011. 
  22. Fleming, Mike. "Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Cat In The Hat’ Get Another Life At Chris Meledandri’s Illumination", March 15, 2012. Retrieved on March 15, 2012. 
  23. Kroll, Justin. "Illumination, U acquire 'Lockwood' series", October 24, 2012. Retrieved on October 25, 2012. 
  24. Byung-yeul, Baek (May 19, 2015). "'Despicable Me' founder shares secret of success". The Korea Times. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  25. "Brad & Gary". Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  26. "Brad & Gary". IMDb. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  27. King, Susan. "40th Annie Award nominees and winners list", February 2, 2013. Retrieved on February 3, 2013. 
  28. Katz, Josh. "Hop Blu-ray", January 9, 2012. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. 
  29. "From Universal Studios Home Entertainment: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax", June 5, 2012. Retrieved on June 5, 2012. 
  30. "Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray". Retrieved September 11, 2013. 

External linksEdit