Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Leonine Studios, one of Germany’s leading film and TV companies, has set up Leonine Animation Studios together with Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris, the managing directors of Toon2Tango.

The three partners will each contribute their shares in Toon2Tango to the new division on Jan. 1, 2024, and will channel all their animation output through it going forward. Toon2Tango becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leonine Animation Studios.

Leonine Studios, which has held a 25.1% stake in Toon2Tango since October 2022, holds a 50% stake in Leonine Animation Studios, with Stoef and Daris also jointly holding 50%. Leonine has the option to acquire a controlling majority in Leonine Animation Studios from 2025.

The managing directors of Leonine Animation Studios are Bernhard zu Castell, who as Leonine’s chief distribution officer is responsible for the distribution and licensing division of the company, Stoef and Daris.

Leonine describes Leonine Animation Studios as “a growth and investment platform for the development, production and acquisition of new IPs with international scope as well as other selective M&A activities in the animation sector.”

Initial projects include the production of the animated feature film “Santa.Com,” which will be released in German theaters in 2025 via Leonine Studios, and the TV series spin-off of the movie franchise “Niko,” as well as the development of the series “Littlest Robot,” which was presented at Cartoon Forum in Toulouse in September 2023, and the preschool series “Hey Fuzzy Yellow,” which is in production.

Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine Studios, said: “We want to consistently expand our successful children’s and family entertainment segment and this step will create the conditions for further growth in this exciting market. We are delighted that we can now deepen our partnership with Toon2Tango, Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris after our first year of successful collaboration.”

Zu Castell said: “The expansion of our partnership with Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris is an important strategic step for our positioning in the animation sector. Since our investment in Toon2Tango in October 2022, we have completed hit series such as ‘Agent 203’ and ‘Monster Loving Maniacs,’ among others, which have sold extremely well worldwide. The development, production and acquisition of major IPs is the perfect fit for our leading position in marketing and distribution, enabling us to create holistic brand worlds ranging from cinema and home entertainment to radio plays and podcasts.”

Stoef said: “We are very pleased to take the next step in the rapid development of Toon2Tango with our dream partner Leonine Studios and to now become part of the Leonine group. We have found the perfect match which offers us both the creative freedom and the necessary economic support to consistently expand in the areas of production, distribution and IP, and brings us closer to our goal of becoming one of the leading European animation companies.”

Toon2Tango was founded four years ago by Stoef and Daris, who produced, among others, the hit series “Mia and Me,” which has developed into a brand world comprising four seasons of the TV series with a total of 104 episodes and a theatrical feature film.

The team has also been involved in series and feature films such as “Monster Loving Maniacs,” “Agent 203,” “Grisu,” “Wissper,” “Maya the Bee: The Honey Games,” “Tip the Mouse,” “Sitting Ducks” and “Miffy, Frog & Friends.”

Leonine Studios has been active in the field of children’s and family entertainment for many years and, as co-producer and distributor, has most recently brought the hits “The School of Magical Animals,” and its sequel, “Lassie – A New Adventure,” “The Ogglies – Welcome to Smelliville,” “Rabbit Academy: Mission Eggpossible,” “Maya the Bee” and “Raven the Little Rascal” to theaters.

In home entertainment, Leonine Studios markets popular properties such as “Heidi,” “The Gruffalo” and “Mia and Me.”

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The post Leonine Beefs Up Animation Operations With New Studios Alongside Toon2Tango’s Hans Ulrich Stoef, Jo Daris appeared first on WorldNewsEra.


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