Walt Disney Animation Japan

Walt Disney Animation Japan (株式会社ウォルトディズニーアニメーションジャパン, Kabushiki gaisha Uoruto Dizunī Animēshon Japan?) was an animation studio located in Tokyo, Japan that produced feature films and television series for Disneytoon Studios, the Disney division charged with spinoff properites from established Disney characters. The studio was founded in 1989 with the acquisition of Pacific Animation Corporation and by ex-employees of Toei Animation and Tokyo Movie Shinsha; The studio was founded by Motoyoshi Tokunaga, an ex TMS producer.

In contrast with Walt Disney Animation Australia, Walt Disney Japan's expertise was attention to action scenes as opposed to facial expressions and emotion. As a result, often on direct-to-video Disney films, Walt Disney Australia would be used for the comedic scenes and Walt Disney Japan would be used for the action sequences. This is evident in both The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

In 2003, Disney announced that they would shut down the studio, which then employed 103 local animators and artists. The closure was a part of Disney's shift from traditional hand-drawn animation to computer animation, and it was explained with: "...after reviewing our business plans and production requirements, we determined we no longer can support this additional production capacity." Completing their last project Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Walt Disney Animation Japan closed in June 2004. Thirty members of the staff were supposed to be transferred to Disney's US headquarters or to affiliates but most of them ended up at Madhouse, Studio Pierrot or Production I.G due to their lack of English, while the rest moved to The Answer Studio, Motoyoshi Tokunaga's new animation studio, which opened in place of WDAJ.



TV series


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