Toei Animation Co., Ltd (東映アニメーション株式会社, Tōei Animēshon Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese animation studio owned by Toei Company. The studio was originally founded 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 reincorporated under its current name. Over the years, the studio has created a large number of TV series, and movies, and adapted many Japanese comics by renowned authors to animated series, many popular worldwide. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Go Nagai, and Yoichi Kotabe have all worked with the company in the past. Toei is a shareholder in the Japanese anime satellite television network, Animax, along with other noted anime studios and production enterprises such as Sunrise Company, Tokyo Movie Shinsha and Nihon Ad Systems.
Until 1998, Toei Animation was known as Toei Doga (東映動画株式会社, Tōei Dōga Kabushiki-gaisha ; even at that time the company's formal English name was indeed "Toei Animation Co. Ltd."), with "dōga" being the native Japanese word for “animation” which was widely used until the 1970s. Their mascot is the cat Pero, from the company's Puss in Boots 1969 film adaptation.
Toei Animation produced the anime versions of works by many legendary manga artists, including Go Nagai, Akira Toriyama, and Shotaro Ishinomori. In addition, the studio helped propel the popularity of the magical girl and Super Robot genres of anime; among Toei's most legendary and trend-setting TV series include the first magical-girl anime series, Mahoutsukai Sally the anime adaptation of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's manga of the same name, and Go Nagai's Mazinger Z, animated adaptation of his manga, which set the standard for Super Robot anime for years to come.
Anime created by Toei Animation that have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award have been Galaxy Express 999 in 1981, Saint Seiya in 1987, and Sailor Moon in 1992.
In addition to producing anime for domestic release in Japan, in the 1980s, Toei Animation also provided animation work for several American-made television series and feature films (for American animation studios such as Marvel Productions, Sunbow Productions, Rankin/Bass, Hanna-Barbera and Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Inc among others), such as Muppet Babies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Adventures of the American Rabbit, Dungeons & Dragons, Defenders of the Earth, My Little Pony, Jem, The Transformers, and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. These series' producers outsourced animation production work to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Asian countries because of cheaper labor costs.
They are most famous for broadcasting the feature Dragon Ball Z movies.