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Toei's The Animal Family Stop-Motion Anime Crowdfunding Campaign Launches

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Project to adapt Randall Jarrell's children's novel raised 68% of goal in 2 days

Japanese film production and distribution company Toei and director Tomoyasu Murata (Mr. Children's "Hero" music video) launched their crowdfunding campaign for an animated version of Randall Jarrell's The Animal Family (Riku ni Agatta Ningyo no Hanashi) children's novel on Tuesday. As of press time, the Makuake crowdfunding campaign for the stop-motion anime has raised 2,141,000 yen (about US$18,885) of its 3,500,000-yen (about US$30,838) goal.

The crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a three-minute pilot. The staff hopes that the pilot will prove the viability of a one-hour stop motion animated film. The campaign's page explains that it will be an "All or nothing" model, and production will not continue if the funding target is not reached.

The finished pilot film will have the backers' names featured in the ending credits. If the production moves forward, the team plans to update backers on the status of the project at least once a month. The campaign is offering various reward tiers to people who donate. Rewards include postcards, storyboards, a DVD of the pilot film, tote bags, invitations to visit the set, special screenings, talk show parties, and production meetings, art drawn by Murata, and a replica of the mermaid figure that will be used in the production.

Murata drew storyboards for the pilot film, which are compiled in the below videos with a narrative voice-over.

Jarrell published The Animal Family with illustrations by Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) in 1965, and it became a Newbery Honor book in 1966. The original story centers on an orphaned man, mermaid, boy, bear, and lynx who learn to live together in a log cabin by the ocean.

Murata debuted with his 2000 stop-motion animation, Suiren no Hito (Nostalgia), and it received the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award. NHK is currently airing his Mori no Recio (Recio of the Forest) stop-motion animated shorts.

[Via Internet Watch]

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