Studio lands ‘Sputnik’ and ‘Yokai Samba’ pitches from the Oscar-nominated director of the Disney short ‘Inner Workings.’
Veteran animator and storyboard artist Leo Matsuda has sold two projects to DreamWorks Animation: a feature titled Sputnik that is based on the children’s book Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth, and an original idea titled Yokai Samba.
Matsuda directed the Disney short film Inner Workings, which ran in theaters before Moana and was nominated for an Academy Award.
Sputnik is based on the book by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who is attached to adapt the story to script with Matsuda, who also would direct. The Hollywood Reporter states DreamWorks landed the project following a bidding war, with other suitors including Paramount Animation as well as Skydance Media. Janet Zucker is among the producers.
Matsuda would write and direct Yokai Samba, which the trade reports is inspired by a folk story Matsuda heard in his youth about growing up and has Brazilian and Japanese influences.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter