‘Cracké’ Animation Studio Squeeze Acquired by ‘Paws of Fury’ Outfit Cinesite

Animation and VFX studio Cinesite has acquired a majority stake in animation and motion capture studio Squeeze, located in Quebec City and Montreal.

Cinesite, which has operations in London, Montreal and Vancouver as well as VFX partner studios Trixter in Germany and Image Engine in Vancouver, recently acquired Montreal studio L’Atelier Animation, the outfit behind hit 3D animation films “Leap!” and “Fireheart.” Cinesite said that the Squeeze acquisition would allow it to further increase its animation content and service offerings for international markets while bringing motion capture and Unreal Engine capabilities into the group to service video game and film productions.

Co-founded in 2011 by Denis Doré and Patrick Beaulieu and joined in 2014 by current CFO François Houde, Squeeze works with the likes of Disney, Marvel, Universal, Illumination, Supercell, Warner Bros and Ubisoft. The company is the creator of “Cracké,” an animated TV series broadcast in 210 territories with over 600 million views worldwide on digital platforms.

Last year, Squeeze was a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games, which allowed its team of Unreal Engine specialists to focus on the development and combination of tools and systems that allows for the creation of uniquely styled animated footage.

Post acquisition, Squeeze will retain its brand and creative centre and its staff of 200 will continue to work under the leadership of Doré, who serves as CEO, and Houde. The Squeeze management team led will be working with Cinesite animation COO Brad Wald to integrate the company and expand their Montreal footprint. The studio is currently in production on various gaming and theme park projects as well as an animated feature film.

Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt said: “Squeeze is a fantastic addition, not only for its successful original IP ‘Cracké’ and for its world-class animation portfolio, but also for its motion capture capabilities and scale, and the opportunity to further enhance a dynamic Montreal based hub for the Cinesite group as a rapidly growing family entertainment powerhouse.”

Doré added: “I’m very pleased to see Squeeze join a leading group like Cinesite, we share a common vision of creation and commercialisation of original animation content and, most importantly, fundamental values such as excellence, humility and integrity. Besides helping us strengthen our leadership position with our entertainment elite partners, this alliance will benefit our talented artists so they can deliver bigger than life character performances.”