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Animal Logic to drink from dodgy chalice

Australia’s Animal Logic, at winner at the recent AACTA awards for The LEGO Movie, has announced plans for a live action feature adaptation of Japanese anime Astro Boy.

IMG_AstroBoy_Edition1Much-loved in Japan (as Mighty Atom) since the early 1950s the property has seen many outings in manga and animated television series over the decades.

Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian said in the announcement, “It’s going to be a blast re-launching Astro Boy as a robot superhero for the new millennium.”

However, that’s already been attempted once, and with less than spectacular results. When Hong Kong company Imagi stopped making Christmas tree decorations and rebranded itself as an animation studio, its future looked bright. It attracted talented Hollywood executives to its team, including bringing on Animal Logic’s Brett Feeney (Happy Feet, The Matrix Reloaded) as Vice President of Production.

The company made some TV shows, 2007’s TMNT and in 2009 released its animated feature version of Astro Boy. Less than six months later the film’s poor performance had bankrupted the company, which had grown for 14 of its 16 year existence prior to Astro Boy.

Animal Logic plans not only a live action feature for Astro Boy but a continuing series of franchise titles to exploit the world and character stock many years of manga stories have created.