Animation and visual effects conglomerate Cinesite has acquired Canada’s Squeeze Animation Studios, producer of the popular kids series Cracké.
Led by CEO Denis Doré and CFO François Houde, Squeeze’s management team will work with Cinesite Animation COO Brad Wald to continue expanding Cinesite’s presence in Montreal and meet a growing demand for animated content.
The move also lets Cinesite leverage Squeeze’s Unreal Engine capabilities to broaden its animation services. Squeeze got a boost from an Epic Games grant last year to develop tools for creating an Unreal-powered animation pipeline.
According to a press release, Squeeze will retain its brands and creative teams under terms of the deal. Squeeze is best known for its Cracké animated shorts starring a frazzled ostrich dad attempting to care for his eight rambunctious hatchlings. Cracké airs in 210-plus territories and has racked up more than 600 million views on digital platforms worldwide. The studio has also provided service work to companies such as Disney, Marvel, Universal, Illumination, Supercell, Warner Bros. and Ubisoft.
Meanwhile, Cinesite’s presence in the animation arena continues to grow. Its London, Montreal and Vancouver studios have made 10 animated films to date, including The Addams Family (2019, MGM), Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (2022, Paramount Animation) and Riverdance: The Animated Adventure (2022, Netflix). It’s currently working on Hitpig (Aniventure), Iwaju (Disney+) and Nickelodeon/Point Grey Pictures’ CG reimagining of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Squeeze is the fifth studio Cinesite has acquired, following Image Engine in 2015, Nitrogen Studios in 2017, German VFX studio Trixter in 2018, and Montreal-based L’Atelier Animation last month.