Netflix Acquires ‘The Magician’s Elephant’ Animation Studio Animal Logic

Australia-based company has worked on films like “Happy Feet” and “The Lego Movie”

THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT – Visual development art by Max Boas with character design by Brittany Myers. Cr: NETFLIX / © 2020

Netflix has acquired the animation studio Animal Logic, which is behind films like “Happy Feet,” “The Lego Movie” franchise and Netflix’s upcoming animated film “The Magician’s Elephant.”

The acquisition will support Netflix’s original animated film slate, which already includes titles like “Klaus,” “Over the Moon” and the upcoming “The Sea Beast.” The Animal Logic and Netflix Animation teams together will create a global creative production team and an animation studio that will produce some of Netflix’s largest animated film titles. However, Netflix will continue to work with many other studios for its animated series and movies.

Animal Logic is led by CEO and co-founder Zareh Nalbandian. Animal Logic leadership will remain operating under the Animal Logic brand and will fulfill production of existing and ongoing commitments and continue to collaborate and work with longstanding studio partners.

Animal Logic is also working on the soon-to-be-released “DC’s League of Super Pets” and produced both of the live-action “Peter Rabbit” movies, and their visual effects branch has done work on titles like “The Matrix,” “300” and “The Great Gatsby.”

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

“The strength of our partnership across a number of projects is testament to our shared creative vision,” said Animal Logic’s COO Sharon Taylor. “Solidifying our future together felt like a mutually beneficial, natural progression and I am so excited to continue to build on our success together.”

As TheWrap previously reported, Netflix’s animation department has been particularly embattled over the last few months and years, with a number of animated series quietly canceled. The acquisition of Animal Logic could likely mean a greater emphasis on feature-length animated endeavors.

The acquisition of Animal Logic would allow Netflix to produce much of its animation in-house rather than farming that animation work out (Netflix’s July release “The Sea Beast” was handled by Sony Pictures ImageWorks). If Netflix mobilizes Animal Logic to handle animation for their series, it could be a game changer as well. Some of the shows that were ultimately canceled were done when the storyboards were sent out for final animation.

Drew Taylor contributed to this report.