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Studio Ponoc Produces Anime Short for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Short to debut in lead-up to upcoming Summer Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday that it has commissioned Studio Ponoc to produce an anime short inspired by the Olympic values. The short will debut in the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9.

The hand-drawn short will be part of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage's Arts & Culture Programmes. The film is in pre-production, and it will be Studio Ponoc's first commissioned work.

Studio Ponoc founder Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There) told the website Cartoon Brew in an interview that the IOC initially approached Studio Ponoc to produce a feature-length anime. The IOC proposed the production around the time that Studio Ponoc was working on Modest Heroes (seen right). However, Nishimura said that he did not believe his studio's animators had the particular skills required for a feature-length film about sports. The IOC then proposed a short, which the studio agreed to produce.

Nishimura founded Studio Ponoc in 2015, and the studio also employs other former Studio Ghibli animators. Studio Ponoc's anime films include Mary and The Witch's Flower and Modest Heroes. GKIDS screened both films in the United States.

Sega is developing four games, including Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The Official Game, in connection with the 2020 Olympic Games. Final Fantasy XV game director Hajime Tabata and his new studio JP Games are also developing the The Pegasus Dream Tour game for the International Paralympic Committee in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Sources: IOC's website, Variety (Ben Croll), Cartoon Brew (Alex Dudok de Wit)

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