Marvel Productions, the Van Nuys animation studio that has produced Spider-Man and Muppet Babies cartoons, plans to move its offices to West Los Angeles in May.
Marvel's departure will mark the second time this year a major cartoon factory has left the San Fernando Valley, for years the home of a large part of the animation industry. Earlier this year, Filmation in Woodland Hills closed after its parent company, Westinghouse's Group W Productions, sold the studio to a European group headed by British businessman Michael W. Stevens and backed by the French cosmetics giant L'Oreal.
Marvel's parent company, New World Entertainment, is being bought by investor Ronald O. Perelman's Andrews Group. Marvel Productions employs about 50 people. Among its current projects is a cartoon strip based on the successful "RoboCop" movie.