Directed by Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo, The Dam Keeper is set in a desolate future that revolves around a young pig with a very important job. The animated short film was nominated for an Academy Award and now a feature-length version is heading to the big screen.
Tsutmumi and Kondo are veteran animators who formerly worked at Pixar, where they served as art directors on Toy Story 3, Monsters University and Ratatouille. They began developing the short as a feature in March 2015 and will direct the project, according to Variety. 20th Century Fox Animation will handle distribution..
In the short film, a small town is dependent on a windmill dam to help protect it from poisonous clouds. A young pig works day and night to keep it working, despite the town’s indifference. Things change when an artistic fox arrives in town and becomes the shy pig’s classmate at school.
Tsutsumi and Kondo are already writing and illustrating a trilogy of graphic novels based on their concept, as well as developing a television series for Hulu in Japan. The characters and world have been expanded for the feature film.
In 1991, Jeff Smith began self-distributing his wonderful comic book Bone. The series follows the three Bone cousins on a grand adventure that involves delightful comic antics and a darkly threatening entity. Eventually, Smith wrote and illustrated 55 issues over a period of 13 years, to increasingly popular acclaim.
A film version has been in development since 2008, when Warner Bros. acquired film rights. In 2012, P.J. Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding) was attached to direct and Patrick Sean Smith (TV’s Greek) was hired to write a new draft of the script, with production expected to begin later that year.
The latest news is that Academy Award-nominated director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) has come on board the animated project, per The Hollywood Reporter. Osborne most recently directed an animated version of The Little Prince. He will write the screenplay with Adam Kline (Artemis Fowl) and may direct.
The goal is to make a trilogy of movies, which makes sense because the original comic series is divided into three story arcs. We hope it won’t be too much longer before Bone finally reaches the big screen.