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The Financial Woes of Astro Boy‘s Producer

Astro Boy

The Animation Guild blog linked to this Variety article about the financial woes of animation outfit Imagi Int’l, which has studios in both Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The studio, which last year worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and is responsible for the forthcoming Astro Boy, also has three other features in the pipeline: Gatchaman, Tusker and Cat Tale. According to the article, Imagi will be able to complete Astro Boy but auditors say that “it is uncertain whether the Group will have the necessary financial resources to complete these animated pictures,” in reference to the following three films. All the sticky financial details are in the Variety piece. According to the Animation Guild, the studio is employing 66 artists in LA as of early-December. This is what the Guild’s business rep Steve Hulett writes about the situation on their blog:

“A short while ago, we received a communication from the company that there could be a short hiccup in cash flow, but not to worry. There were plenty of bucks overall and everything would be ducky in due course. Based on this, maybe things are a tad more serious than that. The company has several animated features in various stages of production, and a lot of money invested in them. It’s going to be grim for the sizable staff working in Sherman Oaks (not to mention Hong Kong) if everything comes to a grinding halt.”