LOS ANGELES -- Marvel Productions will produce cartoons for movie theaters that will be shown prior to Twentieth Century Fox releases, the two companies said.
The studio said that the cartoons, to be called "Fox Toons," should be ready for Fox summer movies in 1991.
The studio's deal with Marvel follows a similar effort by Walt Disney Co., which has packaged Roger Rabbit cartoons with "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and "Dick Tracy."
The company did not say how many cartoons Marvel will produce. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fox said that it will retain rights to the cartoons after Marvel delivers them.
Marvel has animated such Saturday morning television cartoons as "Jim Henson's Muppet Babies" and "Spider-Man."
Marvel, based in suburban North Hollywood, said that it is enlisting animators and directors in-house and throughout Hollywood for the project.
Joe Taritero, president and chief executive of Marvel, said that the company would develop "brand-new characters" for the cartoons.
A spokesman for 20th Century Fox said that no cartoons have been tied to specific coming Fox movies.
In the days when movie theaters showed newsreels and cartoons before movies, Twentieth Century Fox was best known for its Movietone newsreels. The studio also distributed "Terrytoons" for more than 30 years,