The Dam Keeper is an Oscar-nominated animated short film directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, narrated by Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen (Forbrydelsen; Sherlock). It is Tonko House’s debut film and made its world premiere as an official selection at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.
Set in a desolate future, the story follows an introverted young Pig, socially rejected by his peers, living in a windmill and keeping a dark fog from engulfing his town. Despite bullying from his classmates, a new student, Fox, befriends Pig and everything begins to change.
Directors Kondo and Tsutsumi are both former Pixar art directors known for their work on feature films Ice Age, Ratatouille, Monsters University and Toy Story 3. The Dam Keeper is made up of over 8,000 paintings, blending traditional hand-drawn animation with lush brushstrokes to bring their unique painting styles to life. Andrea Blasich created incredible sculptures of all the main characters.
Tonko House has plans to expand The Dam Keeper’s universe with a graphic novel series about the adventures of Pig and Fox five years after the events of the short. First Second Books will be publishing the series, with the first volume set to be released this year. They are also working on a feature film that will be a sequel to the short which began development in July 2014.
You can watch the short in full on iTunes and Amazon. You can find out more about The Dam Keeper on the official website.
Directors: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Producers: Megan Bartel and Duncan Ramsay
Editor: Bradley Furnish
Supervising Animator: Erick Oh
Music: Zach Johnston and Matteo Roberts
Narrator: Lars Mikkelsen