Haim Saban, Chris Columbus and producer Michael Barnathan have teamed up with ZAG Entertainment founder Jeremy Zag to launch ZAG Animation Studios.

The partners aim to make globally appealing family franchises comprised of one 3D animated film and one CGI-live-action hybrid film a year, starting in 2017.

Kicking off the initial slate of 10 is the “full CGI” Melody that Columbus will co-direct with Zag.

The line-up includes CGI-live action hybrid Ghostforce and the “full CGI” Abominable.

The Saban group will be responsible for the coordination of all distribution and marketing strategies while Saban Brands will handle worldwide licensing and merchandising for the films.

ZAG Animation Studios will operate out of ZAG Entertainment’s new, state-of-the-art campus in Glendale, California. 

“This is an incredible moment for our business as we partner to create a world-class animation studio that will produce extraordinary feature films,” said Saban (pictured) of Saban Capital Group and Saban Brands. “ZAG Animation Studios will deliver creative and compelling family entertainment for generations to come.”

“After all of these years, it’s fantastic to start a new venture that brings together talented artists from around the world under Jeremy’s excellent leadership and Haim’s brilliant international business experience,” said Columbus, who is currently directing Pixels and whose body of work includes Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets and Mrs. Doubtfire.

“We are thrilled to build an animation studio with the youthful genius that Jeremy brings and the experienced business guidance of Haim Saban,” said Barnathan, whose credits include the Night At The Museum franchise. “Jeremy Zag is a force of nature. He’s one of those rare talents that comes along and inspires everyone he meets.”

“I am so honoured and excited to collaborate with these amazing entertainment legends that influenced my childhood with their incredible works,” said Jeremy Zag. “This powerful venture, with an unprecedented dream team, will inevitably set the stage for a powerful new player with a world-view perspective in the family entertainment arena.”