20th Century Fox Mexico has struck a two-pic distribution deal with Anima Studios, an animation company founded by Fernando Perez Gavilan and Fernando de Fuentes.

On Nov 19, Fox will release Anima Studio's Magicians And Giants (Magos Y Gigantes), the first-ever animated movie entirely made in Mexico. The 2D traditional feature revolves around three friends who set out to rescue a princess in a magical world inhabited by giants and magicians.

Fox will release it on 250 screens, a sum normally reserved for blockbusters. Trailers to the second film Imaginum, will play before the feature.

"Imaginum, a story about funny aliens, has the potential of becoming an even bigger hit," said Fox Mexico's general manager Jose Juan Hernandez.

"It is more elaborate than Magos Y Gigantes and combines various animation techniques: 3D, CGI and 2D," he added. Fox hopes to release Imaginum by mid-2004 on even more screens.

Previously, Fox Mexico signed a three-pic distribution deal with Titan Prods. Under this agreement, Fox released the first huge hit in Mexico, Sex, Shame And Tears, which made a then unprecedented $12m. It followed this ensemble comedy with La Hija Del Canibal and Vivir Mata, both moderately successful at the box office.

Fox is now in talks with former Titan principal Matthias Ehrenberg who dissolved his partnership with Christian Valdelievre at Titan to form a new label, Mano Prods. Fox may distribute two ambitious projects from Mano: Rosario Tijeras and Viva Frankenstein.

"We are still mulling over projects to board as co producers," said Hernandez. Fox Brazil has been co producing features in Brazil since 1999 where tax incentives have made it attractive. Mexico's local film industry has been actively lobbying for similar incentives.