Korean entertainment conglomerate CJ ENM has entered into a strategic partnership with Japan’s Toei Animation.
The agreement is seen as both a content production alliance that covers film television series and animation, and as a distribution pact which allows the companies access to each other’s markets.
Both companies have extensive libraries of existing content. The deal sees production companies under the CJ ENM umbrella developing Toei Animation IP into feature films, and for Toei Animation to develop CJ ENM’s IP into animation.
The two companies also aim to make content for global audiences and have set up a joint task force to make this happen.
“Toei Animation’s IP has great potential for transmedia or cross-media storytelling, as they have an existing strong global fandom and appeals to a wide range of age groups. We are also excited to see how CJ ENM’s original content that expands over 5,000 different IPs will be able open new doors of creative possibilities for Toei Animation,” said Yi Jongmin, senior VP of CJ ENM’s content R&D center.
“Through this strategic partnership, we plan to develop never-seen-before transmedia contents in both Korea and Japan.”
“Combined with Toei Animation’s know-hows from a wealth of experience and accomplishments in producing global animation hits, we are confident that the two companies will be able to create synergy to create global mega-hit contents,” said Washio Takashi, executive officer and executive producer of production department at Toei Animation.
The alliance comes at a time when global eyes have turned to Asia thanks to the international success of Netflix’s Korean-produced “Squid Game” series and as global and regional streaming platforms compete to secure local content in the Asia region.
CJ ENM has also promised to spend vast quantities of money building itself as a global production hub and to expand its Tving streaming service into Korea’s leading SVOD platform. It also struck another alliance with a Japanese partner – Tokyo Broadcasting System – in June.
Across its different units, CJ EMN has been behind films including Oscar-winner film “Parasite,” “Snowpiercer,” and “Miss Granny”; hit television series “Crash Landing on You,” “Goblin: The Lonely and Great God,” and “Hospital Playlist”; and Tony Award winning Broadway production “Kinky Boots.”
Toei Animation which claims 13,100 episodes, including 255 feature films and 288 television series, has produced including “Dragon Ball Z,” “One Piece,” “Mazinger Z,” and “Sailor Moon.” It is now the producer behind big-budget live action movie “Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya,” adapted from the long-running “Saint Seiya” manga and anime.