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NEWS: 100 Out of 400 Laid Off at CG Astro Boy's Imagi Studio


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Sheleigha



Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 1461

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:00 am Reply with quote
I feel bad for the animators... It wasn't their fault of the films collapse, but most likely lack of appeal and perhaps even the writers. Never did see it, of course. No appeal to me.
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MagusGuardian



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 354

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:14 am Reply with quote
a hundred employees canned just like that, damn I hope those guys the best of luck in finding new jobs
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Katane



Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 129
Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:22 am Reply with quote
Just to show that the world's economy is still in the dump, what a shame. Hopefully they'll find work soon because no one deserves to be laid off.
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pparker



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 1185
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:36 am Reply with quote
Thing is, it seemed the company made a big bet, all or nothing on this movie. Remember they had some financing glitches along the way, suspending work for a week, IIRC. If this flopped, it would be a disaster for them... and so it went. The $19mm U.S. box office means they get maybe half that back? Which will go first to the investors or banks that put up the money, everyone else last if there's anything left. They surely have DVD releases scheduled, which will probably do better for them than the theatricals but will take some time.

Frankly I'm surprised they can keep that many employees. But there's a lot of smoke and mirrors in that business, so who knows.
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Vicserr



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 476
Location: Carolina, Puerto Rico USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:28 am Reply with quote
It's sad to see people getting sacked in this crummy economy, so I guess the outlook is not good for the Gatchaman movie with the bomb that the AstroBoy movie turned out to be (I hope they can recoup some of the expenses with the Blu Ray/DVD release).
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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 5689

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:49 am Reply with quote
Although I do hope that those 100 people are able to find new jobs soon, can the loses even be recovered at this point? 100 people is a large amount, so the movie must have flopped.

Real shame that people had to be laid off though.
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duofangirl



Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:10 pm Reply with quote
I couldn't believe they were making a CG Astro Boy movie when I first heard about it. It would be like Disney making a CG Mickey Mouse movie. They're both iconic legends, but that doesn't mean people are dying to see a new movie about either of them.
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Was this movie even good? Is it going to be one of those movies whose popularity grows over time?
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cetriya



Joined: 20 Sep 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Orlando

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:44 pm Reply with quote
dang, 100?
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Scarabim



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Some of the comments here reflect what hurt that film...assumptions. A lot of people made assumptions about the movie and didn't give it a chance.

I'm a big Tezuka fan, I've read a lot of his manga, seen a few Astro Boy animes, and so I was a little wary about this Astro Boy film...but I saw it, and I loved it. The animation is Pixar-level, the voice acting is superb (especially Freddie Highmore as Astro), and the story has more depth and heart than any other movie I've seen this year, bar none. I almost teared up in places. It tackles the issues of grief, rejection and finding one's place in the world in a very straightforward and honest way. The underlying sadness in the film makes it far more than a "kiddie" movie (more of those assumptions at work). The battle scenes are well-choreographed and John Ottoman's musical score is exhilarating and unforgettable. And best of all, the film is just plain...fun! More fun than any other animated film I've seen this year, especially that overrated "Wild Things Are" and it has no dull stretches like the movie "Up".

If you skipped seeing Astro Boy, you really deprived yourself, and it's your loss, in my opinion. It deserved a heck of a lot more success and love than it got.

If anyone or anything is to blame for this film's failure (aside from the aforementioned assumptions), it's Summit Entertainment. It did a piss-poor job of advertising and scheduling for this movie. The trailers were confusing at best, and scheduling the movie in October, just before Halloween, and up against the higher-profile "Wild Things" was just plain stupid. Summit's employees are the ones who ought to be laid off, not Imagi's. But, as they say, life isn't fair...
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Astro Boy had a rather "meh" trailer ("I can shoot missiles... out of my butt?" ehhhhhh....) with middle-of-the-road CGI, and the reviews I read of the film screamed "rental" at best. Plus, I had no real exposure to Astro Boy as a child growing up in the late 70's/80's (too young to have seen it on over-the-air television and before there were cable channels dedicated to reruns of nostalgia cartoons).

Yeah, I had assumptions about the film, but I have assumptions about every film before I choose whether or not to see it because I don't have the time, money, or interest to see every single film that comes along the pike. It was an educated assumption based on pretty good available evidence.
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Romuska



Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:18 pm Reply with quote
I just hope the 100 were all of the people on their writing staff.
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TatsuGero23



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: Sniper Island, USA (It's in your heart!)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:02 pm Reply with quote
duofangirl wrote:
I couldn't believe they were making a CG Astro Boy movie when I first heard about it. It would be like Disney making a CG Mickey Mouse movie. They're both iconic legends, but that doesn't mean people are dying to see a new movie about either of them.


Well a big difference in that would be Mickey has a much more universal appeal over Astro Boy. Like series like Doraman and Lupan, although classics, they just aren't as recognizable outside of Japan as we think they would/should be. Astro Boy was a big gamble and most likely depended a bit on the nostalgia audience who would bring their kids and family as much as it was depending on kids in general. Unfortunately Astro Boy has long been out of the radar of the casual viewers outside of Japan. Mickey on the other hand is still fairly relevant with the CG TV series, various cartoon specials, and Video games like the Kingdom Hearts series and the new Epic Mickey series in the works which still keeps the franchise in the minds of the casual audiences and fans. Kingdom Hearts or Epic Mickey the Movie? I'd probably see it.

Gatchaman will be a bit of mix bags. Odds are it will have a mediocre to bad showing but in the western market, it was more appealing then Astro Boy and a bit more recent. One of the main issues is that it's going to keep the original japanese name of Gatchaman and many old fans and nostalgia types will be a bit clueless about the movie and that it is the same series that they knew as G-Force and Battle of the Planets (for the planets?). But then we are reminded of Speed Racer, which had a random run on MTV during the 90's, and DBZ, which is very current... sigh... I think we need an otaku director like how superhero movies get comic fan directors now a days. They just have a better grasp of the material and its spirit. Here's hoping Gatchaman doesn't cost 100 people their jobs. Are they the same studio? The Gatchaman studio and the Astro Boy studio?

Also Romuska: The article said the animators were hit hardest.
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Scarabim



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
Astro Boy had a rather "meh" trailer ("I can shoot missiles... out of my butt?" ehhhhhh....) with middle-of-the-road CGI, and the reviews I read of the film screamed "rental" at best. Plus, I had no real exposure to Astro Boy as a child growing up in the late 70's/80's (too young to have seen it on over-the-air television and before there were cable channels dedicated to reruns of nostalgia cartoons).

Yeah, I had assumptions about the film, but I have assumptions about every film before I choose whether or not to see it because I don't have the time, money, or interest to see every single film that comes along the pike. It was an educated assumption based on pretty good available evidence.


Evidence based on those ill-conceived trailers and reviews from critics who tend to bash any CGI toon that isn't Pixar? Thank goodness I didn't pay attention to them and saw the film for myself instead. I got a very pleasant surprise.

Astro was unknown to me until I caught an episode of the '60's series on TV (Cartoon Network, I think)...it was so retro, it fascinated me (cheesy though it was). I started reading a little of the manga and then caught one of the re-makes of the anime series from the 80's. Then I decided to give the movie a try. Am I glad I did.

Make assumptions, and sometimes you miss out. Just sayin'.
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Scarabim



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:07 pm Reply with quote
Romuska wrote:
I just hope the 100 were all of the people on their writing staff.


Well, the writing on the film was actually very good. It's Summit's advertising/scheduling team that ought to get the boot.

Sadly, those who were fired were mostly animators...and FYI, animators, even at Pixar and Disney, often get laid off between movies. But not at the extent (usually) that happened at Imagi...
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