Imagi: Challenging Pixar from China

Formerly a producer of artificial Christmas trees, the studio aspires to make U.S.-quality animated films in Asia for far lower costs

A year ago, Tim Cheung had one of computer-generated animation's dream jobs—working on the latest installment of Shrek for DreamWorks Animation SKG (DWA). Today, the 35-year-old Texas native works in an old warehouse district in a remote part of Hong Kong, helping film neophytes learns the do's and don'ts of how to make a movie featuring computer animation. "You have people who were coming from jobs in sales, who were engineers, all walks of life," he explains about his staff of 54 animators. "One guy was working at a 7-Eleven."

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