Cinesite announces it has been awarded animation work for the upcoming The Smurfs feature film, which is the first project from the new creative partnership between Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, the company that owns the Smurfs brand. Production is underway, and the Cinesite Vancouver studio is recruiting talent across artist & technician posts. (Apply at cinesite.com/careers.)
The film, which is now set for a February 2025 release, is written by Pam Brady (South Park), directed by Chris Miller (Puss in Boots, Shrek the Third) and produced by Ryan Harris (The LEGO Batman Movie). Cinesite’s crew is led by producer Barbara Zelinski and VFX supervisor Chris Kazmier, under the direction of Head of Production Tamara Boutcher.
The untitled Smurfs film, which according to previous announcements will be a fully-animated musical adventure, is the latest animation feature to start production at Cinesite. It marks the studio’s second CG-animated theatrical production for Nickelodeon & Paramount after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, a CG-animated film directed by Jeff Rowe slated for release on August 4.
“We are thrilled to be reteaming with such a stellar team of animators at Cinesite” says Mark Bakshi, EVP of Paramount Pictures Animation. “Throughout development we’ve been impressed by the creativity and quality shown, together our teams will deliver a Smurf-tastic film that families will enjoy for years to come.”
Brad Wald, Cinesite’s Group Chief Operating Officer – Animation., commented, “Our team is excited to leverage their technical skills and artistic talent to bring the iconic Smurfs to the screen. We’re delighted that Nickelodeon & Paramount have showed continued trust in the quality of our work. And we’re incredibly excited to continue this collaboration and bolster our crew with the incredible budding animation talent that is out there globally.”
The studio is also in production on Aniventure’s upcoming films Hitpig, based on characters from Pulitzer Prize winner Berkeley Breathed’s Pete & Pickles; Animal Farm, an animated adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novella directed by Andy Serkis; and the animated series Iwájú for Disney+.
The Smurfs was created by Belgium comics artist Peyo (Pierre Culliford), debuting in 1958. The stories center on a village of small blue humanoid creatures, each with a distinct personality and a knack for adventure. Together, they cooperate to keep their mushroom village safe from threats in the forest and the machinations of the scheming wizard, Gargamel.