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New ‘Moom’ Trailer Showcases Feature Aspirations for Tonko House

New CG-animated short from ‘The Dam Keeper’ directors Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi is an adaptation of the popular Japanese children’s book by film producer Genki Kawamura.

Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, the creative duo behind the Oscar-nominated short The Dam Keeper, have unveiled a new trailer for their latest short film project. According to a report by Variety, Moom is an adaptation of the popular Japanese children’s book by film producer Genki Kawamura, who is serving as producer on the project along with Tomohiko Ishii.

The story takes place in a mystical land where memories are released from the objects they are connected to. Moom will make its debut on March 5 at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA.

The co-founders of animation studio Tonko House in Berkeley, CA, Kondo and Tsutsumi formerly worked at Blue Sky Sky and Pixar on features including Monsters University. Following an Academy Award nomination for their short film, The Dam Keeper, the duo left Pixar in 2014 to form their own studio.

Produced in CG, Moom has a different visual style from the digitally painted 2D-animated The Dam Keeper, but retains the soft feel and gentle tone of the studio’s first short.

“We are still bringing the lighting and design sensibilities that are in our studio’s DNA. The difference being, we are applying it to 3D, the medium we felt most comfortable with from our careers at Pixar and Blue Sky,” Kondo told Variety. “Of course, translating our painted sensibilities and working with a new, talented group of artists in Japan challenged our preconception of what we knew about making CG animated films.”

In addition to Moom, the studio is reportedly developing a full-length animated feature as well as a graphic novel series based on based on The Dam Keeper, with the first book coming out next year via MacMillan/First Second Books. “We have been blessed with a great team including passionate producers and a talented young writer set to complete the development phase this spring of the screenplay, visual development, and CG animation tests to expand the universe,” Tsutsumi said.

In addition to the upcoming film and graphic novel series, Tonko House is also prepping for an exhibition at the G8 Gallery in Tokyo’s Ginza district. To be held in May, the exhibit will include a sneak peek into Tonko House’s future projects, including new stories in development for an original series and VR, as well as a look into the making of The Dam Keeper and Moom.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.