One of the most buzzed-about revelations from yesterday’s crushing mass layoffs at DreamWorks, the largest in the studio’s history, was that DreamWorks would begin outsourcing the production of some of its feature film projects. The first of these outsourced movies will be the adaptation of the bestselling children’s book series Captain Underpants, scheduled for completion in 2017.
Upon hearing this news, many assumed that the outsourced production would happen in either India or China, where DreamWorks has been training animators and building production hubs. But the outsourced production will remain much closer to home.
Montreal, Canada-based Mikros Image, a satellite of the French-owned vfx/animation/post-production firm, is expected to produce Captain Underpants. A commenter on Cartoon Brew, “Tabarnac,” pointed out that the decision to use Mikros had been in the works for a while: “Last summer, Katzenberg was up at Mikros in Montreal. Talks were already in place for Mikros to provide animation ‘outsourcing’ since he was so impressed with his private screening of Mune.” While there has been no official confirmation yet from DreamWorks, Mikros was also referenced as the outsource company in a Variety piece yesterday.