Hot on the heels of creating the animation for The LEGO Movie 3D, which has amassed $US330 million worldwide, Animal Logic has been restructured into three divisions.

The group will now comprise Animal Logic Animation; Animal Logic VFX; and Animal Logic Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based feature film development arm that is nurturing a slate of animation, hybrid animation and live-action and director and VFX-driven films.

Eighteen months after the company bought Fuel VFX, its personnel have been integrated with Animal Logic’s VFX teams and the Fuel VFX brand has been dropped.

“The newly consolidated division will trade as Animal Logic VFX, incorporating the wealth of talent and technology under one roof, further strengthening its ongoing commitment to the Australian and international VFX industry,” Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian tells IF.

“On the back of the success of The LEGO Movie it is a logical step to have a clearer structure across the company. The VFX business has been affected by our dollar reaching parity with the US dollar; the government refusing to increase the location offset from 16.5% to 30% to make us more competitive; the growth of the VFX businesses in Montreal and Vancouver, which have much higher incentives; and a lack of production here. It makes sense to combine the strengths of our VFX teams, our supervisors, producers and writers.”

The Animal Logic VFX team includes executive producers Jason Bath and Luke Hetherington and VFX supervisors Andy Brown, Paul Butterworth, Kirsty Millar, Dave Morley and Will Reichelt.

“The VFX landscape has changed dramatically over the last 2 years, and the consolidation of our teams, technology and facilities means that we can continue to remain competitive in an ever-changing VFX global market,“ said Bath.

Animal Logic VFX’s recent credits include Iron Man 3, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Great Gatsby, The Rover and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.

Animal Logic Animation is led by CEO / producer Nalbandian, head of animation Rob Coleman and co-producers Amber Naismith and Ingrid Johnston. The studio made Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie as well as The LEGO Movie.

Warner Bros. has announced a May 2017 release date for The LEGO Movie sequel but there is no confirmation yet of the creative elements.

The Animal Logic Entertainment office was set up in Los Angeles last year, headed by producer Jason Lust, who is developing a slate of features with Nalbandian, Jonathan Hludzinski and Felicity Staunton.

One project in development is Bone, an animated movie based on Jeff Smith’s comics about three cousins who are lost in a strange land, where they’re caught in the flare-up of an old conflict and the realisation of an ancient prophecy.

P.J. Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Peter Pan) is attached to write and direct for WB and Animal Logic Entertainment. Nalbandian will produce with Dan Lin, one of the producers on The LEGO Movie. He said it will be a fully Australian film, produced here.

Another is Nemesis, based on a script by the late Christopher Wheeler with a rewrite by Craig Rosenberg, developed by WB, Animal Logic Entertainment and Safehouse Pictures . It’s a fantasy set in a world full of exotic creatures.

Also on the slate is Last Family, a co-production with Brad Pitt’s Plan B, scripted and directed by Kiwi Taika Waititi (Boy, Flight of the Conchords, Eagle vs Shark). Zareh describes the film as a quirky relationships comedy told from a dog’s point of view.


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