Animation Studio Tonko House Unveils Development Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety | 3/4/2019 | Terry Flores
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Berkeley-based animation studio Tonko House, founded by the creators of the 2015 Oscar-nominated short “The Dam Keeper,” has big plans for 2019, starting with a slate of four projects in development, including a feature-length version “The Dam Keeper.”

Until recently, “The Dam Keeper” feature had been in development at 20th Century Fox, but following Fox’s sale to Disney, the pic returned solely to Tonko House, which is actively seeking a new studio partner. The film is being directed by Tonko House founders Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, and produced by Kane Lee. The feature will expand on the world of the short, which tells the tale of shunned, orphaned Pig, who cares for a windmill that keeps his village safe from a dangerous fog, and his popular friend, Fox.

Fox - Everyone - Kondo - Changes - Company

“We were partnered with Fox and everyone there was truly amazing,” Kondo says. “But with all the big changes that are happening over there and also as we evolved as a company, it felt like the right time to actually pull ‘The Dam Keeper’ back into our world of Tonko House.”

Working with Fox on “The Dam Keeper” feature “was a really great journey and learning experience,” Tsutsumi says. But getting the project back was also an opportunity for Tonko House to brainstorm ideas about other projects. “We spent the latter half of last year developing new projects,” Tsutsumi adds.

Kondo - Tsutsumi - Studios - Interest - Board

Kondo and Tsutsumi say other studios have expressed an interest in coming on board with them on “The Dam Keeper” feature and they hope to announce a new partnership soon.

In the meantime, they have plenty to keep them busy with a slate of three additional projects, a new film festival, and an expansion of their traveling Tonko House Exhibition.

Tsutsumi - Showrunner - TV - Series - Oni

First, Tsutsumi is the directing showrunner of a stop-motion/CGI animated TV series called “Oni,” about a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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