Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR217
Case Length : 20 Pages
Pages Period : 1999-2006
Organization : Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Themes: Growth Strategy
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming

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Background Note

G.A. Menon (Menon)7 , a US based entrepreneur and the chairman of Technomate Marketing Services (an electronic component company under the ComCraft Group8 ), established Toonz Animation USA, Inc. (TA), in Los Angeles.

Menon felt that, considering its cost advantages, India would be a good place to set up an animation studio. Soon enough, TA set up Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd. with Menon investing $ 5 million (through Multitech Investment based in Mauritius) and the ComCraft Group chipping in with an additional $ 2 million. Bill Dennis (Dennis)9 , an animation expert, was appointed as President and CEO of Toonz and TA. In November 1999, Toonz set up a state-of-the-art animation studio at Technopark Campus, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Toonz invested in the best software and hardware, in order to provide high-quality animation services for television programs and commercials. Its studio was India's first digital ink and paint10 2D animation11 studio.

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The studio used the latest software available then from Cambridge Animation System12 and Toon Boom Animation13 . Even though it offered digital animation its core competence was in the Cel animation technique14 .

Toonz offered the entire range of services for animation production like layout, cleanup, animation, background, in-betweening, scanning, ink and paint, compositing, and editing. It also provided pre-production services including key animation, key background, character design, color models, and key layouts. In the initial years, Toonz targeted the middle and top segment of the market for outsourced animation work. Unlike the software industry where Indian companies did business predominantly with US companies, the animation industry was more widespread. Predictably, Toonz targeted and sought contracts and production partnerships with major animation studios the world over, competing directly with animation studios based in South Korea and the Philippines...

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7] G.A. Menon was born in Ernakulam district, Kerala, India. He majored in Mathematics from Madras University and then graduated from Harvard Business School. He began his career as a Systems Manager with IBM in India. When IBM closed its India operations in 1978, he joined the ComCraft group in Singapore. (

8] ComCraft is a global group of about 200 companies with combined annual sales in excess of US $4 billion. Electronics, software, and other technology related businesses accounted for about US $1.5 billion of annual sales. It is a family owned business based in Toronto, Canada, operating in forty countries around the world.

9] Bill Dennis worked with Walt Disney Feature Animation for 20 years before taking over as the president of Fil-Cartoons, a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting, and later as CEO of RMUSL in Mumbai.

10] Instead of transferring the animation drawings onto a cel, they are scanned into a computer, colored and processed using a software package. The resultant drawings are superimposed over the backgrounds which have already been scanned.

11] 2D animation can be cell, puppet or sand animation, clay modeling, cut - out animation or computer generated.

12] Cambridge Animation System is a leading innovator in animation software. It sells popular 2D animation software called Animo.

13] Toon Boom Animation Inc. is the worldwide leader of animation software solutions with high-tech tools such as morphing, inverse kinematics and glue. Toon Boom carries several leading animation products, including Harmony, Opus, Solo, and Studio.

14] Cel animation involves scrupulous hand drawing of every single frame, followed by individual scanning, digitizing, and sequencing of the frames to form a complete 2D animation story.


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