It’s not easy being the outsider among giants, and now, according to Twitch, the independent Imagi Animation Studios is closing down after being forced to lay off 300 of its employees due to financial woes. The studio launched in 2000 and after doing animation work for TV and in a supporting capacity with DreamWorks Animation’s Father of the Pride (2004), the studio had a moderate success in 2007 with TMNT. Unfortunately, their next film, last year’s Astro Boy opened to disappointing numbers, raking in only $23 million worldwide, which was less than a third of its budget.
Unfortunately, Imagi was in the middle of working on an adaptation of the 1970s anime TV series Gatchaman. The series [as related by Wikipedia] centered on five teenage superhero ninjas who opposed a group of technologically advanced villains from taking control of the Earth’s natural resources. While their adaptation, set for 2011, is most likely dead, it’s also likely that someone will pick it up in the future and shoot it back to the big screen. You just can’t keep a group of teenage superhero ninjas who dress like birds down. But if you want to feel wistful and long for things that will not be, click here to see a teaser poster, a clip, and images from the film and click here to see a teaser trailer.