You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BLUTH’S TOON TOWN TO CLOSE

After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment.

The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed last week.

The news that 174 jobs will be lost with the closure comes as a further blow to the Irish film industry, at a time when the reverberations from the “Divine Rapture” disaster are still being felt. That film, shooting in Ireland, was forced to shut down due to loss of funds.

The current owner of Screen Animation Ireland is Hong Kong-based Media Assets, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. It has been in talks for six months with a management buyout group backed by New York investor Richard McDonald.

But the talks broke off last week when Media Assets lost patience due to the failure of the would-be purchasers to offer a coherent deal.

Media Assets, part of the Star TV group, bought the studio three years ago for $19 million, and paid for the completion of the three animated films in production at that time – “Thumbelina,” “A Troll in Central Park” and “The Pebble and the Penguin.” In total, it sunk around $50 million into the studio, but insiders estimate its total earnings at no more than $20 million.

The studio is completing “All Dogs Go to Heaven II” under contract to MGM, but has no creative input into the project. Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, the animators who founded what was then called Sullivan Bluth nine years ago, have long since departed to work with the new animation division of Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox in Phoenix, taking Bluth’s name with them.

More Film

  • Pete Docter Jennifer Lee

    Jennifer Lee, Pete Docter to Run Disney Animation, Pixar

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

  • Dick Delson

    Dick Delson, Longtime Hollywood Publicist, Dies at 81

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

  • Steve Levitan LA>Vegas

    Steve Levitan Flip-Flops on Decision to Leave Fox Over Child-Separation News Coverage

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

  • Travolta's 'Gotti' Fires Back at Critics

    John Travolta's 'Gotti' Fires Back at Critics After 0% Rotten Tomatoes Score

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

  • Common, Lena Waithe

    Common, Lena Waithe Join AT&T Hello Lab's Filmmaker-Mentoring Program in Second Year

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

  • DSC00760.ARW

    Sony Takes Premium Film1 Movies Service Direct to Consumer

    After nearly a decade of losses under a string of different names and owners, the end has finally arrived for Screen Animation Ireland, formerly known as Don Bluth Entertainment. The Dublin-based animation studio, which made pics such as “All Dogs Go to Heaven” and “Thumbelina,” will close Oct. 31 after negotiations for a sale collapsed […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content