Toei Animation Co., Sammy Corp., Sola Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet Inc. are teaming with Hong Kong-based A Really Good Film Co. (Bona Film Group) to co-produce a CGI animated film with the help of U.S. creators.

Tentatively titled “The Monkey Prince,” the film is inspired by the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.”

“Sonic the Hedgehog” game designer Naoto Oshima is providing the original story and character designs for the family-oriented film.

The four Japanese companies announced the joint project on Oct. 25.

Aimed at the global market, the project will bring together Japan’s content strength, China’s animation making technologies and marketing power and storytelling skills from the United States.

The film will be directed by John A. Davis, whose previous works include “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” and “The Ant Bully.” The screenplay will be written by J. David Stem and David N. Weiss, who also wrote the scripts for “Shrek 2” and “The Smurfs” movies.

Takao Noguchi, who served as a character designer for “How to Train Your Dragon,” is providing character designs and is attached as associate director. Chuck Williams, a former Disney producer who now is a senior member of Marza, will use his expertise to integrate cultural differences in animation production in the three countries.

Production will be mainly handled by Tenh Animation Magic Inc. recently co-founded by Toei Animation, Sola and Galaxy Graphics Inc., which is affiliated with Sammy and 3-D CG production house Sanzigen Inc.

* * *

To learn more about the latest developments in Japanese anime, visit the official site of Anime Anime (http://animeanime.jp/).