Toronto, Canada-based pre-production studio House of Cool has acquired neighboring animation house Red Rover Studios for an undisclosed sum.
The deal was finalized last week but has been on the radar since Red Rover founder Andy Knight unexpectedly passed away in April after attending MIPTV in France.
‘His widow Lindsay asked us to put in a bid,’ says House of Cool co-founder and president Ricardo Curtis. ‘It makes sense because Red Rover completely complements what we do.’
While House of Cool’s roughly 40 full-time employees work primarily on pre-production and story design for film and TV clients, including Disney, Red Rover excels at production. The acquisition of Red Rover, which employs around 30 staff, opens up the commercial market, says Curtis. ‘It allows us to offer a much fuller range of services to our clients.’
At the time of his death, Knight was shopping around Red Rover’s 26 x 22-minute CGI series D.A.N.D.Y. for the seven to 11 demographic. The boys action-comedy about a plucky robot ( profiled in KidScreen‘s June 08 issue) generated quite a bit of heat at this past MIPTV, and it’s a project that Curtis is excited about and plans to continue developing.
‘It’s something we have to negotiate with the other partners,’ he says. ‘But, it was a project I was impressed by.’
The two companies will be merging offices and resources throughout the next 12 months.