Walt Disney is reportedly planning a tie-up with Japanese anime maker Toei Animation to produce cartoons to Asian tastes.

Disney plans to produce three programmes with Toei, with the first, a short animated film about a robot, scheduled to air in May.

US entertainment giant Disney also plans to make a Japanese Lilo and Stitch, according to reports.

Shares in Toei Animation soared in Tokyo trading on Thursday following an article in the Nikkei Business Daily, which were later confirmed by a Disney executive to the Associated Press.

A spokesperson told Reuters: "Japan is an important market with a huge Disney following, especially because we have a Disney resort here," she said, referring to a Tokyo complex that includes Tokyo Disneyland.

In addition to Toei, Disney will work with Madhouse Co and Jinni's Animation Studios.

Toei Animation's Jasdaq-listed shares rose 3.4 per cent to 2,285 yen (£10.96) in afternoon trading.

06/03/2008 14:59:47