TOKYO — Toei Animation, the largest toon studio in Japan and Asia, set up a wholly owned subsidiary specializing in developing animated movies this week.
Laterna is capitalized at 50 million yen ($417,000) and headed by Toei Animation prexy Tsutomu Tomari. It will target family fare leaving Toei Animation to focus on content for children and youth.
While Toei Animation produces all of its content in-house, using its studios in Japan and in the Philippines, Laterna will bid for characters and stories among animation artists and creators and will hire them on contract. Laterna will also court corporate sponsorship to fund production.
Before a project is greenlit, it will have to pass a professional committee made up of industry professionals. The committee and Laterna will also assess the best distribution channel for any project, be it the big screen, television or other media, such as DVD.