Toei Company, Ltd. (東映株式会社 Tōei Kabushiki-gaisha (pronounced toe ay) is a Japanese film, television production, and distribution corporation. Based in Tokyo, Toei owns and operates thirty-four movie theaters across Japan, studios at Tokyo and Kyoto; and is a shareholder in several television companies. It is notable for anime], live action dramas known as tokusatsu, and Jidaigeki historical dramas.
Tokyo-Yokohama Films (東横映画 Tō-Yoko Eiga, incorporated 1938, had previously erected its facilities immediately east of the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line, they managed the Tōkyū Shibuya Yokohama studio system prior to V-J Day. From 1945 through the Toei merger, Tokyo-Yokohama Films leased from the Daiei Motion Picture Company a second studio in Kyoto. Through the merger, they gained the combined talents and experience of different actors. On October 1, 1950, the Tokyo Film Distribution Company was incorporated; in 1951 the company purchased Ōizumi Films.
In 1956, Toei established an animation division, Toei Animation at the former Tokyo-Ōizumi animation studio, purchasing the assets of Japan Animated Films (originally founded in 1948)
Toei was a pioneer in the use of transformation in live-action martial-arts dramas, a technique developed for the Kamen Rider, Metal Heroes and Super Sentai series; The genre currently continues with Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.