TV Tokyo and China's Carloon plan toon

Tokyo — The TV Tokyo network has inked with China’s Carloon Animation to make a CGI TV toon for distribution in China, Japan and elsewhere plus a theatrical version for China.

The deal is a first of its kind for a Japanese company.

The 26-episode “Train Hero” deals with a rescue team that handles disasters on a network of high-speed trains crisscrossing the world.

Canadian comic artist Pat Lee will handle character designs while Tokyo toon house Total Production Office will be in charge of the Japanese production.

The series will bow on April 26, beginning in Japan and rolling out to China and other territories. The theatrical pic is skedded for release in fall 2012, when a high-speed train will start operating between Beijing and Shanghai.

TV Tokyo plans to use the deal as a stepping stone to the rapidly expanding Chinese toon market.

Carloon is associated with Changzhou Broadcasting and TV, a broadcaster serving a city of 5 million near Shanghai.

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