Reuters is reporting that the Walt Disney Co. is partnering with the anime studio Madhouse (Trigun, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Ninja Scroll) to create a Japanese spin-off version of the Lilo & Stitch cartoon series.  The series will be localized for Japanese audiences by giving the characters more familiar names and settings--the kind of localization that Disney does for a number of countries around the world including Italy and Australia.  The Madhouse-produced Lilo & Stitch will be shown on Japanese version of the Disney channel, which is available in Japan by satellite. 


This is hardly Disney's first collaboration with a major anime studio--in 2006 Disney announced an agreement with Toei Animation to create a series of CGI/live action shorts for the Toon Disney's worldwide Jetix block (see "Toei Toon for Jetix").  The robot adventures cartoons produced by Toei (its first CGI effort) and Disney are set to debut later this year.