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Leonine Studios and Toon2Tango founders form Leonine Animation Studios

From left to right: Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell, Jo Daris

Germany’s Leonine Studios is founding a dedicated animation studio with Toon2Tango founders Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris.

The three partners will each pool their shares in Toon2Tango to form Leonine Animation Studios with effect from January 1 2024.

Leonine has held a 25.1 percent stake in Toon2Tango since October 2022.

Mia & Me producer Toon2Tango now becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leonine Animation Studios, in which Leonine will hold a 50% stake. Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris, who founded Toon2Tango four years ago, will jointly hold the other 50%.

The managing directors of Leonine Animation Studios will be Bernhard zu Castell, who as chief distribution officer is responsible for the distribution and licensing division of Leonine, and the two Toon2Tango managing directors Stoef and Daris.

The new firm is described 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 cinemas in 2025 via Leonine Studios, and the TV series spin-off of the well-known cinema franchise Niko, as well as the development of the series Littlest Robot, and preschool series Hey Fuzzy Yellow, which is currently 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.”

Hans Ulrich Stoef, CEO and producer at Toon2Tango added: “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.”

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