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Imagi Animation is Out of Money and Temporarily Shutting Down?

by
January 25, 2009

Imagi Animation - AstroBoy

We just heard some rather interesting, and alarming, news from a friend in the industry. Apparently Imagi Animation Studios is running out of money and may be temporarily shutting down operations. The official news will supposedly hit the wire tomorrow, but employees are being told not to show up to work starting on Monday. Imagi, based out of Hong Kong, is the animation company behind 2007's TMNT as well as the upcoming Astro Boy movie and also Gatchaman. We've already seen a teaser for Astro Boy and the film is slated to hit in October, which means it might be delayed if production stops for too long.

As soon as we got confirmation, we'll update this news. I'm sure Imagi will do their best to hide their financial troubles, so it'll be interesting to hear what they have to say. As much as I like Imagi, I'll admit that I could see this coming. Astro Boy and Gatchaman are their only two films actually in production, and TMNT wasn't that big of hit ($54 million in theaters). They've also had numerous internal issues, including a director change on Astro Boy at one point. The studio is scrambling to get extra funding to keep working and may even drop Tusker, a project they picked up from DreamWorks Animation last year.

I'd really like to see this studio continue to exist in the animation marketplace, but they obviously need to get things figured out first and learn how to streamline their animation work. Note: Until we have confirmation on this story, take this news as only a rumor. Stay tuned for updates!

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  • teyhtr
    meh... loved TMNT but IMAGI is an animation studio not worth caring for.
  • Rediculas Buttons
    Their stock dropped. :( I hope everything works out. Their studio was promising (at least in the grand scheme of things)
  • jesse
    Dang, I had high hopes for this company. TMNT was weak on story but the animation was great for the budget they had. That Ralp and Leo rain scene was fantastic. I sort of hate seeing Pixar, and Dreamworks as the only successful CG companys.
  • Jon
    That's too bad. I was looking forward to Astro Boy. And I'm tired of Pixar and Dreamworks doing all the good animated films. Nothing against them, I just like to see things a little differently than they present them. TMNT stunk, but it was not the animation, but the story that was the problem. @ Jesse You are right, that Ralph and Leo scene was great.
  • darrin
    warner bros. thats your move now, buy it up lke new line cinema
  • The were making faster leaps and bounds compared to others in catching Pixar quality. TMNT was well done even if the story was lacking. I had hopes that Astro Boy and Gatchaman could put them up there.
  • Fern
    has anyone seen any updates about this story? or is it still a rumor?
  • Rediculas Buttons
    Their website says nothing of this. So i hope its a rumor
  • Leonardo
    Imagi either died or will die because it is being run by the same people who were driven out of Dreamworks for being inept. They tried to make this wonderful gem of a new studio into another Dreamworks and failed because that was never the model for the studio. If the want to succeed they should go back to the crew they had for TMNT, (except maybe with some stronger story people), who knew how to make great looking movies on a small budget. Too bad the company is going down. It was one of the few who could have been a contender in this market.
  • jesse
    I would love to see a company buy them out. Warners should stay away with the way they handled TMNT. Hey Universal you've had trouble making animation since Don Bluth left this is your chance to get back in the game.
  • Nut-Meg
    The Evil that was/is George W. Bush continues to effect the entire World. RIP Astro Boy.
  • jesse
    Things were going bad before Bush Nut-meg, and they'll keep getting worse.
  • Mikey
    it's chinese new year n staffs won't go to work till 3 or 4 days after. i hope whoever wrote this can stop spreading rumors.
  • Rediculas Buttons
    The problems with money that imagi has been facing has been going on for a few months now. And apparently Imagi Animation Studios has themselves confirmed the reports.
  • Aravena
    YES YES YES! They need to shut down for the crap they made and are making. Gatchaman!?! WTF!?! We know what that really is and it's not a bunch of stupid guinea pigs! TMNT was a disgrace. I've loved TMNT since I was a kid, grew up with them, had ALL the toys. That movie sucked and I still enjoy the other 3. Yes, the 3rd movie was better than that animated pile of crap. Goodbye IMAGI
  • Redilicious Buttons
    I hope not
  • Miu
    We just want to finish the film and better this time. by 400 young animator in Hong Kong.

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