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Netflix acquiring animation house with big offices in Vancouver

Animal Logic acquisition expected to close later this year
An artist's rendering of Animal Logic's new office in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood | submitted

Animation studio Animal Logic kicked off the spring announcing plans to double its Vancouver team to 600 workers.

Now the Aussie animation house is getting a new parent company to oversee its expansion plans: Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX).

The streaming giant announced Tuesday (July 19) it was acquiring the maker behind The Lego Movie for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Animal Logic currently employs about 300 workers at its Vancouver studio in the city’s downtown.

But it unveiled plans this past May to open a new 110,000-square-foot studio in the city’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, across the street from Hootsuite Inc.’s headquarters.

“Netflix has been investing in animation over the past few years and this furthers our commitment to building a world-class animation studio,” Amy Reinhard, Netflix’s vice-president of studio operations, said in a statement.

“Animal Logic is a leading animation studio with innovative technology that will strengthen our existing business and increase our long-term capacity in the animation space, so that we can better entertain our members around the world.”

Animal Logic’s plan to grow its Vancouver footprint comes at the same time other global studios have been expanding in the city.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) and British VFX giant Double Negative Ltd. (DNEG) both revealed plans last summer to launch their own respective animation studios in the city.

They’re also competing for talent against the likes of Sony Pictures Imageworks (Vancouver), which produced 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feature, and WildBrain Ltd. (TSX:WILD), known for The Snoopy Show and Ninjago.

Both studios employ roughly 700 workers already.

“The industry has a high need for artists because of just pure demand for content,” Kylie Ellis, vice-president of production at WildBrain, whose career in Vancouver’s animation ecosystem spans two decades, told BIV in May. 

“Right now is the busiest … I’ve [ever] seen it.”

Animal Logic picked Vancouver in 2015 to serve as its first base outside of Sydney.

The Vancouver team later delivered The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part in 2019 as its first feature under the Animal Logic banner.

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