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Imagi Studios Closes

Animator behind Astro Boy is no more

Imagi Animation Studios, the Hong Kong and LA-based production company behind Astro Boy, has closed for business after its parent company, Imagi International Holdings, posted financial losses of $93.4m.

The studio was set up in 2000 and specialised in CG-rendered superhero tales. Some, like turtlesome animation TMNT ($95m), did well at the box office; others, including Astro Boy ($23m), not so much. The latter, Imagi's adapation of the so-cute manga robot, has only recently been released in the UK but flopped badly overseas despite a stellar voicecast, a failure that exacerbated Imagi's financial woes.

According to Imagi, it'll continue to develop movie ideas and outsource production work to mainland China and other lower-cost moviemaking centres. What that means for the animations Imagi has under development, including Tusker, Cat Tale and '70s anime series Gatchaman, remains to be seen.