Oscar-Nominated 'Dam Keeper' Animators Work With Anime Studio
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Japanese animation studio anima inc. announced in April that it has partnered with Tonko House, the studio behind the 2015 Oscar-nominated animated short "The Dam Keeper." Toy Story 3 art director and Tonko House co-founder Daisuke "Dice" Tsutsumi also announced the partnership through his Twitter account. Tsutsumi unveiled a 3D test image for the short's feature-length adaptation on Monday, although he did not specify which studio worked on the image.
The original animated short centers around a character named Pig, who lives alone in a windmill atop a wall that protects a town. He operates the windmill every day to keep a dark cloud from enveloping the town. Despite his important duty, he is bullied by his peers at school and is disliked by the townspeople. He meets Fox, an artist who teaches him to channel his emotions through art.
Variety reported in March that Tonko House is also planning a two-volume graphic novel adaptation of the short. The California Sunday Magazine reports that the Tonko House founders have "also been hired to adapt a popular Japanese children's book for film."
Tsutsumi (Hayao Miyazaki's nephew-in-law) and Robert Kondo, both former Pixar art directors, co-founded Tonko House in 2014. The pair produced "The Dam Keeper" animated short as part of a co-op program in Pixar after finishing production on Monsters University.
The Japanese studio anima inc. specializes in 3D CG animation. It produced the Cat Shit One animated short (a spinoff of Motofumi Kobayashi's Apocalypse Meow manga) in 2010. It has also done CG work on numerous anime and games such as the AKB0048 TV anime series, the Sword Art Online series, and Fire Emblem Fates.