Oscar-Winning Petits Cubes' Kunio Katō Makes Anime Ad
posted on by Egan Loo
Kunio Katō, the Oscar-winning director of the "La Maison en Petits Cubes" ("Tsumiki no Ie") short, has directed an anime commercial for the Sekisui Heim brand of modular homes, and the commercial will begin airing throughout Japan on Sunday.
Last year, Katō became the first Japanese person to win an Academy Award in the Best Animated Short Film category. "La Maison en Petits Cubes" was only the the second anime to win a major Academy Award (after Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away). "La Maison en Petits Cubes" uses 12 minutes of paper drawings and 2D computer graphics to tell the story of a grandfather's memories as he adds more blocks to his house to stem the flooding waters.
The new "Tsuzuki o Kangaeru Monogatari -Haru-" commercial marks the 40th anniversary of Sekisui Heim homes and emphasizes their environmental friendliness. In addition to lasting for decades, the cube-like modular Heim units can be slotted out of old buildings and reused over and over again. The commercial centers around a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, and a dog who live together in a home in the countryside. The story begins one spring day while the daughter is preparing to go off to college in Tokyo, and follows how the family slowly changes as each person grows up.
Veteran actor Hiroshi Abe (Sanctuary, Trick, Shin Kyūseishu Densetsu Hokuto no Ken) has played the Sekisui Heim brand's trademark "Heim-san" character before recording the narration for the new Sekisui Heim commercial. For a limited time starting on Sunday, Sekisui Heim's homepage will stream a 70-second director's cut of the commercial. Three more commercials will air between now and November 3 to represent summer, fall, and winter.
A prologue commercial starring Abe is streaming from the website now. (In the linked website, "flip" the virtual book to the fourth page and play either the video of the commercial or its "making-of" video.)