Hong Kong based Imagi Animation Studios has thrown in the towel in lieu of recent layoffs of over 300 employees. Back in 2007, the studio released its first CG animated feature TMNT
and it became a moderate success at the box office. However, their second feature, Astro Boy
fared poorly when it was released last year and consequently puts the final nail in the coffin, amidst of its earlier financial woes
. The project it was planning to developed next was Gatchaman
but unfortunately, I think its safe to assume its dead in the water or at the very least, continues to linger in developmental hell for the time being.
...Imagi said it will continue to develop movie ideas and outsource
the actual animation work to mainland China and other countries, where
costs are lower.
It saddens me to see Imagi go out like this if this is truly the end. While I don't consider the studio in the same level of quality as Pixar or Dreamworks yet, I feel they have the potential to progressively climb up to new heights and offer unexplored genre of animation, namely edgy superhero action. My appreciation goes out to them for taking a chance in attempting a different and refreshing approach in animation whereas most studios would not risk. Farewell, Imagi.
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