The “Smurfs” universe is expanding, this time with a bit of help from VFX and animation studio, Cinesite, which has been awarded animation work for the upcoming untitles Smurfs feature film. The first project born of the new creative partnership between Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, LAFIG Belgium, and IMPS, owner of The Smurfs brand, has an expected February 2025 release date.
The new Smurfs movie is being written by South Park’s Pam Brady, directed by Chris Miller (Puss in Boots and Shrek the Third), and produced by Ryan Harris (LEGO Batman Movie). Barbara Zelinski (producer) and Chris Kazmier (VFX supervisor) lead the Cinesite crew under the direction of Head of Production Tamara Boutcher.
The project marks the second CG-animated theatrical production for Nickelodeon and Paramount, the first being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, directed by Jeff Rowe and slated for release August 4, 2023. In addition, the studio continues production of Aniventure’s upcoming film 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 Iwaju for Disney+.
“We are thrilled to be reteaming with such a stellar team of animators at Cinesite,” said 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.”
“Our team is excited to leverage their technical skills and artistic talent to bring the iconic Smurfs to the screen,” added Brad Wald, Cinesite’s Group Chief Operating Officer – Animation. “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.”
Based on characters and stories created by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, known as Peyo, the Smurfs have been a pop culture phenomenon for decades.
With production underway, Cinesite Vancouver is recruiting talent. More information is available at Cinesite.com./careers.