VFX House Cinesite Acquires Montreal’s L’Atelier Animation

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VFX House Cinesite has added Montreal’s L’Atelier Animation to its expanding studio network in Canada and Germany, the company said Wednesday.

Terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed. But Cinesite, headquartered in the UK and having moved from creating digital visual effects to feature animation on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and other tentpoles, has acquired a Montreal studio specializing in feature-length 3D animation and series.

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Pending regulatory approvals, Cinesite is acquiring 100 percent of the studio, with senior L’Atelier Animation management staying on to lead the business under its own branded name. L’Atelier Animation general manager Benoit Blouin and Cinesite Animation COO Brad Wald will jointly work to merge the two companies and steer animated work to Montreal.

L’Atelier Animation is the fourth studio to join Cinesite after it acquired Image Engine VFX and Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver and VFX studio Trixter in Berlin and Munich. As with the Vancouver studios, acquiring L’Atelier Animation allows Cinesite to tap a rich animation talent pool in Canada, foreign exchange savings and Quebec digital and animation tax credits.

L’Atelier Animation did the feature animation on Leap! For Caramel Films/Quads, and Fireheart, with a voice cast led by Olivia Cooke and Kenneth Branagh, for Les Films Seville, Anton, Main Journey, Caramel Films and M6 Films SND.

“As one of the largest independent studios producing animation we are always looking to grow our team with talented artists, and the L’Atelier team has a strong track record of producing outstanding work while taking great care of their clients,” Cinesite’s Wald said in a statement.

Cinesite’s own feature animation credits includes Paramount Pictures Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank and MGM’s The Addams Family franchise. The studio is in production on Aniventure’s upcoming film Hitpig (with a voice cast led by Peter Dinklage, Lilly Singh, Rainn Wilson and RuPaul) and Animal Farm, the adaptation of George Orwell’s 1945 allegorical novel directed by British actor Andy Serkis, as well as the six-part Disney+ series Iwaju.

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