Cinesite Studios has bought animation facility Nitrogen Studios Canada Inc, based in Vancouver in order to add high- end feature animation to the group’s capacity in the city. 

Nitrogen employs 70 creative and production staff and is known for animating episodes of children’s show Thomas and Friends, and more recently Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party. 

This is the second acquisition for Cinesite Studios in Vancouver following the July 2015 merger with visual effects studio Image Engine. 

Nitrogen’s animation studio is currently in production on the second series of Dreamworks’ Trollhunters. The studio is also co-producing Arkie, a CG-animated feature based on Nathan Jurevicius’s character cult brand Scarygirl with Passion Pictures Australia, the producers behind the Oscar-winning The Lost Thing. 

Antony Hunt, Group CEO of Cinesite Studios Group, said: “As one of the largest independent studio brands producing visual effects and animation, this acquisition delivers to our group the same capacity in Vancouver that we already have in Montreal, both for VFX and feature animation. This allows our customers to invest their production dollars in the two best locations for film making in North America. The opportunity to work with the creative team and crew at Nitrogen allows us to expand our storytelling capabilities, with established creative talent who are ready for new challenges. The creative team are experienced and talented; they animated Thomas and Friends, one of the world’s leading preschool brands, and are now seeing great success with their recent work on Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters. We look forward to collaborating with them to serve our customers and of course on our own content.” 

Nicole Stinn, Principal at Nitrogen said, “We have known the folks at Cinesite for a long time and have admired what they have achieved over the past few years. When the opportunity presented for us to make our home with them, we knew it was right for all our stakeholders, staff, customers, suppliers and collaborators. We are delighted to be joining the Cinesite family.” 

Today’s announcement follows the recent news that Cinesite Studios is developing an untitled feature animation Harold Lloyd project in partnership with the Harold Lloyd Estate, in addition to the feature Riverdance, produced by Comic Animations and Ireland’s River Productions and Imaginary Friend, produced by Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield’s The Combine, with Straight Up Films and Comic Animations. 

Jon Creamer

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