After just two years in the German market, animation production outfit Ellipse Deutschland Film und Fernsehproduktion has shut up shop following the decision by its French parent Expand to pursue a course of consolidation after group losses last year.

Despite Ellipse Deutschland's success with the setting up of the international co-productions of animation series Kleiner Koenig Macius (with Kinderkanal, Hessischer Rundfunk, Saxonia Media and Studio 88), Frog (with Super RTL) and Piratenfamilie (with WDR), Expand put the development of other animation projects on hold and halted the company's planned expansion.

According to a press communique, Ellipse Deutschland's managing director Stephan Schesch intends to co-produce the TV projects and such
high concept
features as The Canterville Ghost and The Porcelain Princess with France's Ellipse animation studio and new partners in Germany.

A year ago, Ellipse Deutschland and Studio Hamburg Produktion (SHP) had announced plans to join forces on the co-development and production of TV animation series and feature films targeted to the international market.

Ellipse's withdrawal from the German market follows the news last month of Michael Schaack's TFC Trickompany closing its animation facility in Cologne and downsizing operations at its Hamburg headquarters.