The announcement was made at a launch ceremony in Seoul on Friday.
The unit is expected to be involved in a wide range of animation activities, ranging from content development and investment, production and distribution, to licensing and character production. Initial investment this year is expected to be $15 million.
The new division will pay particular attention to the Chinese market, where the government is slowly easing its decades-long birth-control program, known as the ‘one-child policy.’ That is expected to give a boost to children’s entertainment content. In the first half of this year, the CJ division plans to set up a team solely dedicated to developing animation business in China.
“Our goal is to obtain a prominent position as Asia’s leading animation company. With aggressive investment and tactful marketing, we will make best efforts to produce a variety of high-quality animations, to lead the global market, and give a boost to the local animation market as well,” said Han Ji-soo, head of the new animation business division.
CJ has a license partnership with DreamWorks Animation, the Hollywood studio behind “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda,” which yesterday announced feature production cutbacks and 500 job losses.
“Robot Trains RT” is a coming-of-age story in which train characters try to rescue their village from dark forces. Korean company, 4th Creative Party, which previously supplied digital effects for mega-hit Korean films including “Snow Piercer” and “Old Boy,” is charge of the series’ graphic design.