Cinesite continues to expand its Canadian presence. Just weeks after acquiring Montreal’s L’Atelier, producers of Fireheart and Leap!, the London-headquartered company has picked up a majority stake in Quebec animation and vfx production house Squeeze, the studio behind Cracké and Marvel Studios’ What If…?
- Founded in 2011, Squeeze provides animation and mo-cap services out of its studios in Quebec City and Montreal. The company, which currently employs over 200 people, has worked with Disney, Marvel, Universal, Illumination, Supercell, Warner Bros., and Ubisoft. Squeeze created the series Cracké, which is available in over 210 territories and has been streamed more than 600 million times. It is currently in production on various gaming and theme park projects as well as a yet-to-be announced animated feature.
- With the acquisition of Squeeze, Cinesite increases its animation content and service offerings, while adding motion capture and Unreal Engine capabilities to its service video game and film productions. Squeeze was recently awarded an Epic Megagrant to further develop tools and systems for real-time production with Unreal Engine.
- Squeeze will retain its brand and creative center, and its staff will continue to work under CEO and co-founder Denis Doré and CFO and partner François Houde. Doré will work with Cinesite Animation COO Brad Wald to integrate the company and expand their footprint in Montreal. The new partnership means that Cinesite now has more than 780 employees across Canada.
- Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt said in a statement: “Squeeze is a fantastic addition not only for its successful original IP Cracké and for its world-class animation portfolio, but also for its mocap capabilities and scale, and the opportunity to further enhance a dynamic Montreal based hub for the Cinesite group as a rapidly growing family entertainment powerhouse.”
- Doré added, “I’m very pleased to see Squeeze join a leading group like Cinesite, we share a common vision of creation and commercialization of original animation content and, most importantly, fundamental values such as excellence, humility, and integrity. Besides helping us strengthen our leadership position with our entertainment elite partners, this alliance will benefit our talented artists so they can deliver bigger than life character performances.”
- Squeeze is the fifth studio to join the independently-owned Cinesite Group following Image Engine in 2015, Nitrogen Studios (renamed Cinesite Vancouver) in 2017, German vfx studio Trixter in 2018, and the aforementioned L’Atelier Animation.
- Cinesite’s recent productions include The Addams Family animated features, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, and Riverdance: The Animated Adventure. The studio is currently in production on Hitpig (Aniventure), Iwaju (Disney+), and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cg feature from Nickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures.
Pictured at top: Marvel Studios’ “What If…?”