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 in which Toei Company, Ltd. is the biggest shareholder. The studio was 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, movies, and adapted many Japanese comics by renowned authors to animated series, many popular worldwide. Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Leiji Matsumoto 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, TMS Entertainment and Nihon Ad Systems Inc. The company headquarters are located in the Ohizumi Studio in Nerima, Tokyo.
Until 1998, the company was known as Toei Doga (東映動画株式会社 Tōei Dōga Kabushiki-gaisha?) (although even at that time the company's formal English name was "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 1969 film adaptation of Puss in Boots.
Toei Animation produced the anime versions of works by many legendary manga artists, including Go Nagai, Eiichiro Oda, Shotaro Ishinomori, Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, Takehiko Inoue, Mitsuteru Yokoyama, Masami Kurumada, Akira Toriyama, Leiji Matsumoto and Naoko Takeuchi. 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.
Although Toei Company usually lets Toei Animation handle its official animation works, on occasion they may hire other companies to provide animation on their behalf, such as the Robot Romance Trilogy in which Toei Company handled the overall production, but the animation work went to Sunrise (then known as Nippon Sunrise) instead.
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, Toei Animation also provided animation work for several American box office motion pictures and television series for US companies, dating back as far as the 1960s, but they mostly provided outsourced production work during the 1980s.