As goes Imagi Sherman Oaks, so goes Imagi Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong studio behind "TMNT" and "Astro Boy" has shut down as its parent company tries to recover from losses.
Imagi International Holdings Ltd. said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange that it stopped funding its computer animation studio on Feb. 5 "to further preserve its limited liquidity and shareholder value." The studio will ask a Hong Kong court to name liquidators, the statement issued Monday said.
But 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 ....
Once upon a time, I had high hopes for the San Fernando Valley IMAGI.
At its peak, there were well over a hundred artists, animators and modelers working on various CGI features. Then the bank meltdown happened, followed by the non-performance of Astro Boy. The crew wasn't paid, then lots of lay offs happened, and finally the studios on both sides of the Pacific closed their doors.
It happens all the time, of course. From the time TAG started in 1952 until now, the only studio still standing is Disney. Every other cartoon factory has sprouted up, prospered, then withered and died.
I know it's the natural order of things, but I still get saddened when it happens.