Plans animation for TV, digital markets

Walt Disney Japan is planning to produce toons for the Japanese and Asian TV and digital markets, company sources said on Thursday.

The Mouse House will work with Madhouse, Toei Animation and Jinni’s Animation Studios.

With Madhouse, Walt Disney Television Intl. Japan will produce “Stitch!,” a 30-minute TV show featuring the character from the 2002 feature toon “Lilo & Stitch.” Stitch’s sidekick will be a Japanese girl named Hanako in the new show, set on a fictional island similar to Okinawa. Disney is shooting for an October start.

“Fireball,” a CG short set in the future about a young girl living on an alien planet and her adventures with her family’s two robots, will be developed and made by Disney Japan in cooperation with Jinni. It will air in April on the Disney Channel.

Disney will produce animated short “Robodz” with Toei Animation; it’s expected to air in June. Storyline has not been announced.  

Eventually, Disney plans to expand to mobile broadcasts and export its locally produced toons to the Asian market. 

The Mouse House has been operating the Disney channel in Japan since 2003 and it launched a mobile phone service in partnership with Softbank Mobile on March 1.

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