Hong Kong company Centro Digital Pictures also has been chosen to make Disney's first-ever non-Hollywood Chinese movie, "The Magic Gourd," which mixes animation and live action.
Amid dwindling interest in Hong Kong film, is computer animation the future of the Hong Kong entertainment industry?
Animators here boast that they offer a unique sensibility that combines Hong Kong's action cinema legacy and a deep awareness of both Asian and Western cartoon traditions in an English-speaking environment.
Industry experts say, however, that Hong Kong animators are merely taking outsourcing jobs from Hollywood by offering cheaper pricing while not generating creative ideas on their own - a point that people here concede is true, at least for now. (這一點大家同意嗎?)
At Imagi, which designed the turtle fighters in TMNT, Co-Chief Executive Douglas Glen is gung-ho about the prospects of a company that once made artificial Christmas trees and furniture and switched over to animation completely in 2002.
The former Mattel executive said computer artists in this Chinese-ruled former British colony blend the best of the East and the West.
"If our director says, 'I want this character in this film to react like Wilma Flintstone to this situation,' they get it, because people here have seen The Flintstones and they've seen all the Japanese anime," he said.
Glen said for TMNT - a take-off on the 1990's Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtle films - Imagi didn't even hire an action choreographer because kung fu is "in the DNA" of its 350 Hong Kong-based animators.
During a visit to Imagi's Hong Kong offices, animators worked on computer drawings in cubicles cluttered with figurines including Mr Potato Head and the popular Japanese character Doraemon. Neighbouring shelves were lined with Japanese comic books.
But while Hong Kong's computer graphics industry dates back some two decades, it's still growing. A survey of 57 "digital entertainment companies" in 2004 - the most recent study of its kind - found that most employed fewer than 10 people and about a third had annual revenues of under $HK500,000.
"Hollywood's interest in Hong Kong animation is mostly financial," says Tom McLean, a US-based journalist who writes a blog on cartoons for the Hollywood trade magazine Variety.original article: theWEST.com.au