The 2015 Oscar-nominated short film THE DAM KEEPER is getting the feature-length treatment from 20th Century Fox Animation and Tonko House, with original helmers Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi on board to direct the feature. John Henry Hinkel will be writing the script.
In the original short, Pig, an introverted and bullied youth, lives in a windmill and protects the town from a looming dark fog, which threatens the town on a daily basis. When a new, artistically-inclined student arrives, Fox, Pig finds a new friend. It’s a story that teaches art can provide a good emotional outlet for hardships, as well as the timeless benefits of friendship.
The feature film is said to take place several years after the events of the short and will be done in CGI and feature plenty of voicework, of which the original short had neither.
Kane Lee is set to produce while Darlene Caamano Loquet will oversee for Fox.
This is the latest in a long line of projects for Fox Animation. In September alone, the development arm acquired the rights for three projects: Frogkisser!, The Littlest Bigfoot, and Zita the Spacegirl.
Meanwhile, The Dam Keeper goes far beyond a feature-length film. Kondo and Tsutsumi, previously art directors at Pixar, are also working on a trilogy of graphic novels based on the short for Macmillan imprint First Second Books. The first is set to be published in 2017. Plus, a 10-episode series detailing the friendship between Pig and Fox is set at Hulu in Japan to be directed by Erick Oh, another former Pixar creator, and will air next summer.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor