(SANTA MONICA, CA & TOKYO, JAPAN) September 5th, 2012 –Illumination Entertainment, creators of Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and Fuji Television, Japan’s leading broadcast television network and film production company, today announced a strategic alliance in Japan. The deal brings together the creative expertise of Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, and Fuji Television’s Senior Executive Managing Director, Chihiro Kameyama. no immediate co-production plans on the table. The partnership will kick off in September 2012, when audiences will see the iconic Minion characters from Illumination’s hit film Despicable Me appear on the Fuji Television logo accompanying their theatrical release of Bayside Shakedown.
Kameyama said: “Despicable Me was Illumination’s breakout hit and, for us, the film’s memorable characters represent the Illumination brand. To highlight our new alliance, we wanted to blend the Minion characters with our logo. Audiences will begin to see the Minions on the Fuji logo across most of the film releases from Bayside Shakedown.
“At Illumination, we take inspiration from all around the world, and we are evolving the filmmaking model to transcend borders and languages,” said Meledandri. “When Kameyama-san and I began talking about a possible alliance, he was interested in how we can collaborate creatively and steadily build a partnership to our mutual benefit. Fuji Television is a powerhouse company with iconic status in Japan, and we are delighted to be in business with them.”
“I am so pleased to be partnered with Illumination,” said Kameyama. “Chris has built an incredible track record of success over many years. We can both leam from him and be inspired by him. Although we have no immediate co-production plans on the table, this is the first step to explore how we can develop a strong partnership.”