Toei Animation Co., Ltd. (東映アニメーション株式会社 Tōei Animēshon Kabushiki-gaisha) (/toʊ.eɪ/), commonly referred to as Toei Animation, is a Japanese animation studio primarily owned by Toei Company.
The studio was founded by animators Kenzō Masaoka and Zenjirō Yamamoto in 1948 as Japan Animated Films (日本動画映画 Nihon Dōga Eiga, often shortened to 日動映画 (Nichidō Eiga)). In 1956, Toei purchased the studio and it was renamed Toei Doga Co., Ltd. (東映動画株式会社 Tōei Dōga Kabushiki-gaisha, “dōga” is Japanese for “animation”), doing business as Toei Animation Co., Ltd. outside Japan. In 1998, the Japanese name was renamed to Toei Animation. It has created a number of TV series and movies and adapted Japanese comics as animated series, many popular worldwide. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Yasuji Mori, Leiji Matsumoto and Yoichi Kotabe have worked with the company. Toei is a shareholder in the Japanese anime satellite television network Animax with other anime studios and production companies, such as Sunrise, TMS Entertainment and Nihon Ad Systems Inc. The company is headquartered in the Ohizumi Studio in Nerima, Tokyo.
Their mascot is the cat Pero, from the company’s 1969 film adaptation of Puss in Boots.
Toei Animation produced anime versions of works by manga artists, including Go Nagai (Mazinger Z), Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009), Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro (Toriko), Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk), Mitsuteru Yokoyama (Sally the Witch), Masami Kurumada (Saint Seiya), Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump), Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999), and Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon). The studio helped propel the popularity of the Magical Girl and Super Robot genres of anime; Toei’s TV series include the first magical-girl anime series, Mahoutsukai Sally (an adaptation of Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s manga of the same name), and Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z, an adaptation of his manga which set the standard for Super Robot anime. Although the Toei Company usually allows Toei Animation to handle its animation, they occasionally hire other companies to provide animation; although the Toei Company produced the Robot Romance Trilogy, Sunrise (then known as Nippon Sunrise) provided the animation.
Toei Animation’s anime which have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award are Galaxy Express 999 in 1981, Saint Seiya in 1987 and Sailor Moon in 1992. In addition to producing anime for release in Japan, Toei Animation began providing animation for American films and television series during the 1960s and particularly during the 1980s.