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Toho Forges Alliance with Thai CG Animation Firm IGLOO STUDIO

Japanese entertainment giant Toho partners with Bangkok-based IGLOO STUDIO in a pioneering capital and business alliance, marking Toho's first venture into an overseas video production collaboration
Japan
t 9602.TSE Mid and Small Cap 2000 Entertainment 100
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Toho, a prominent player in the Japanese film industry, embarks on an innovative venture by establishing a capital and business alliance with IGLOO STUDIO, a distinguished CG animation company based in Bangkok, Thailand. This milestone marks Toho’s inaugural partnership with an overseas video production firm and signifies a unique move for a Japanese entertainment corporation.

Founded in 2007 by Thai architect Nat Yodwattanano, IGLOO STUDIO has garnered acclaim for the exceptional quality of its videos, growing to a staff of 170. It stands as one of Thailand’s foremost CG animation studios, gaining recognition for producing the original Thai animated feature film “The Legend of Muay Thai: 9 Satra,” released in 2018. Noteworthy is IGLOO’s expertise in 2D-touch CG, incorporating elements of Japanese anime styles. Their latest work, “My Demon,” is scheduled for Netflix streaming starting November 23, 2023. Crafted as a science fiction narrative by Japanese author Hiroki Adachi (Otoichi), the story unfolds in a post-apocalyptic Japan, following a boy and a creature named a demon on a mission to rescue the boy’s mother. Such projects underscore the harmonious blend of Igloo’s capabilities with Japanese content.

This alliance aligns with Toho’s growth strategy, spotlighting “animation” and “overseas” as key focal points. The collaborative efforts between TOHO Global and IGLOO are anticipated to catalyze the advancement of TOHO’s animation division. The partnership also holds promise for synergies, including the establishment of a fresh animation production line and an elevation in the quality of their creations.

While Toho has a significant presence in the domestic film industry, it entered the anime sector relatively late. The establishment of TOHO animation in 2012 marked their earnest foray into anime planning and production funding. The anime business has since experienced rapid expansion. However, Toho faced a challenge, as major animation companies monopolized studios within their groups due to the scarcity of animation studios and skilled personnel, leaving Toho with a perceived vulnerability. The solution emerged with the investment in TOHO animation STUDIO by TIA in 2020, culminating in its complete acquisition in 2022, thus creating the inaugural in-house studio. This strategic international partnership serves to harness resources that may be lacking domestically. Thailand’s burgeoning CG industry, propelled by a wealth of experienced professionals from Hollywood, has emerged as a global contender due to its exceptional quality. Toho’s investment attests to its recognition of this growth potential.

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