Cinesite acquires Montreal studio L’Atelier Animation

Cinesite, which has operations in London, Montreal and Vancouver as well as VFX partner studios Trixter in Germany & Image Engine in Vancouver, said the deal will expand its creative and production capacity to meet demand in Quebec and elsewhere.

The acquisition of L’Atelier Animation will give Cinesite further access to Montreal’s highly skilled talent pool with additional employees dedicated to making animation content under the two brands, favourable exchange rates, and attractive tax credits.

The L’Atelier Animation management team led by General Manager Benoit Blouin will be working with Cinesite Animation COO Brad Wald to integrate the two companies and expand their Montreal footprint to meet the growing demand for animated content.

This latest acquisition announcement further strengthens Cinesite’s position as a major force in animation and cements the company as the largest independently owned digital entertainment groups delivering animation & VFX services.

L’Atelier Animation specialises in series and feature-length 3D animation. Established in downtown Montreal since 2012 it’s best known for “Leap!’ (Caramel Films/Quads), which generated over $110M in international box office revenues. It’s most recent production to reach audiences is ‘Fireheart’ (Entertainment One) produced by Les Films Seville, Anton, Main Journey, Caramel Films, and M6 Films SND. The cast is led by Olivia Cooke, Kenneth Branagh, and William Shatner. The studio has also worked on the series ‘Robozuna’ (Kidscave Entertainment and ITV Studios) and is currently in production on the feature ’10 Lives’ (GFM Animation) which is being directed by Chris Jenkins (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King).

“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,” says Cinesite COO for Animation Brad Wald. “Bringing our two teams together will allow us to serve our clients even better and on a greater scale in both episodic television and feature films. I know we will have great success working together and continuing to meet the growing demand for animated content.”

L’Atelier General Manager Benoit Blouin says of the partnership, “I am so proud of where our team’s incredible talent has brought L’Atelier. We have been admirers of Cinesite for years, so joining the Cinesite family will allow us to reach new heights together. We believe this deal will have a significant, positive impact on the animation industry in Quebec.”

Today’s announcement comes at a time when there’s increasing demand for animation content globally, across Asia, the US and Europe. To date Cinesite has delivered 10 feature films, recent credits include 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 films Hitpig and Animal Farm as well as the six-part Disney+ series Iwaju and other projects in development.

Audiences are hungry for native language, high-end animated content, and streamers are beginning to target a new, younger audience. Times are changing, and fast this latest acquisition further future proofs Cinesite.