Since 2012, the Montreal animation division of Mikros Image has transposed many popular characters to the big screen: the Little Prince, Captain Bobette, SpongeBob. The style, which is similar to that of the latest Ninja Turtles film, launched in August, is also the work of Mikros Montreal. The team for the second Paw Patrol was essentially the same as that of the first, released in 2021. We learned this week that the director and co-writer born in Montreal, Cal Brunker, who helmed the first two chapters, will be back for the third, planned for 2026. However, it cannot yet be confirmed that Mikros will see his mandate renewed.

“More than 400 people worked on Paw Patrol over a period of 24 months,” says Nicolas Delval. They were not all at work at the same time, but he estimates peak production at 215 employees simultaneously.

The studio head mentions that the main challenge of the first film was transposing the universe of an existing series to the cinema without “disturbing the audience”. “They’re not realistic dogs. They are cartoonish and had to stay true to the original, with a layer of improvement. » Meeting the quality criteria of the big screen represents a colossal task: “In episodic television animation, it is estimated that around thirty seconds are done per day by an animator. For us, it’s more like two seconds per week! », specifies Nicolas Delval.

Without denigrating their qualities, the PAW Patrol TV series remain rather simplistic visually and narratively. Nicolas Delval maintains that there was a desire on the part of the producers based in Toronto to make the film version “an astonishing object, which would amaze people”. “It’s an intellectual property for a very young audience and they managed to make it a multi-generational film. Visually, the idea was to make an Avengers for children. More than half of the movie has special effects, explosions and superpowers. »

“A Pixar film costs three to four times more than a film like Paw Patrol. Is it three or four times worse visually? I don’t think so, says Nicolas Delval. Much of the credit goes to the animation industry in Quebec, which has developed a very interesting group of talent on a global scale. » The Frenchman, who settled here to work at Mikros, says that Quebec has stood out in the field of animation since the mid-1980s, thanks in part to the creation of software, including Softimage 3D, which is became a “global standard” in the early 1990s. Industrial Light

In the following years, government investments in the video game industry also contributed to the continued expansion of the field of animation. “These tax incentives made it possible to boost companies already there and then bring in new players and global references to develop an entire ecosystem. […] 10 years ago, there were about 500 people in this community. Today, there are around 8,000,” underlines Nicolas Delval.