The Australian animation company behind blockbuster hits like "Happy Feet" and "The LEGO Movie" announced on Wednesday it is expanding to Vancouver and will be opening a new studio this September.
Animal Logic also says it has signed a deal with Warner Bros. Pictures to work on three animated feature films in Vancouver. The first will be "The LEGO Movie Sequel," with work beginning in January 2016.
"For the past 15 years we have had a truly collaborative and highly successful relationship with our friends at Warner Bros., and we are excited to be taking our collaboration to the next level on the production of a terrific slate of films in Vancouver," said Animal Logic co-founder and CEO Zareh Nalbandian in a statement.
Industry publications report the Vancouver studio will result in several hundred jobs — including current Animal Logic employees and local hires — and will be housed in a 45,000 sq. ft. facility in Yaletown.
'Hollywood North' back in action
Animal Logic is the latest world-class visual effects (VFX) company to set up shop in Hollywood North.
Last year, Sony Pictures Imageworks announced it was moving its headquarters from California to a 74,000 sq. ft space in Vancouver's Pacific Centre. That move prompted industry journalist David Cohen to declare Vancouver the VFX capital of North America.
The film industry in B.C. has exploded recently, as major studios head north to take advantage of tax credits and the plummeting Canadian dollar.
In the last month alone, there were 40 big projects filming in-and-around Vancouver, including the X-Men spinoff "Deadpool."