Toronto-based Tayrona Films and Arc Productions have announced they are joining in a co-production partnership to produce four animated feature films. Separately, international producer-financier-distributor Tayrona said it is forming Tayrona Animation, which will finance and produce the films with Arc, the animation studio whose credits include Gnomeo & Juliet and 9. The plan is for Arc and Tayrona to contribute two films apiece to the arrangement. The first film in the deal is The Legends Of The Underzoo, an Arc property that follows a group of animal cubs who, when their zoo is threatened, set out to find a treasure buried in the legendary and mysterious Underzoo. Tayrona is also developing two projects for the deal based on books by Erik Daniel Shein: Darwin: A Galapagos Love Story and Aurora The Spirit Bear Of The North. A fourth project has not been determined. The pact announced today was brokered by Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group.

In addition to the tie-up, Tayrona is releasing the 3D animated feature Legend Of Secret Pass in Latin America and Spain and the Roland Joffe film There Be Dragons: Secrets Of Passion in Latin America later this year. Arc is also co-producing its original property Ormie with Alcon and the new deal furthers its push to develop its own content.