Tonko House is an American animation studio led by Daisuke Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo. The studio came into the limelight with its debut film, “The Dam Keeper” (2014), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and launched its activities in earnest.
In the fall of 2022, Daisuke Tsutsumi’s first animated feature film, “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale” was released as a Netflix original. Based on the theme of “ONI,” which have been depicted in Japan since ancient times, this 3DCG animation film consists of four episodes (154 minutes in total) about humorous monsters and gods living in the forest, who grow up while confronting the darkness that lurks in everyone’s heart.
This exhibition aims to create a new entertainment experience through the spatial presentation of the animated film “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale”. The beauty of light and darkness, which are Tonko House’s specialty, and the timeless and robust story will be expressed in a spectacular exhibition space that combines images, words, sound, light, and antique artworks. In addition, the exhibition will introduce the process of creating the latest 3DCG animation, which incorporates Tonko House’s technology and philosophy.
●Introduction to “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale”
The setting is a world of gods and monsters reminiscent of Japanese folk tales. Onari, who lives a free-spirited life in this world, yearns to become a legendary hero and trains hard, but her father, Naridon, mysteriously refuses to teach her anything. As the threat of the “ONI”, feared by the mountain gods since ancient times, looms, Onari must confront the truth about herself. Through Onari’s growth, the film depicts the darkness of the heart that fears what it cannot see and the light of truth that shines through, as well as the universal themes of parent-child bonds and friendship.
●About Tonko House
Co-founded in July 2014 in Berkeley, San Francisco, by Daisuke Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo, former art directors at Pixar, after co-directing the short film “The Dam Keeper” in 2014. The Dam Keeper was nominated for the 87th Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2015, won 25 awards worldwide, and screened at 75 film festivals. 2016’s short film “Moom” won 24 awards at festivals in 8 countries. 2017’s Moom was released on Hulu in Japan. In 2019, a studio opened in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and produce films from two locations in Japan and the U.S. With its originality, innovation, Hollywood-level technology, and artistry, the company has many fans among professionals in CG and animation, art, music, film, advertising, mass media, education, and other fields of creativity.
Tonko House’s first exhibition, “The Journey of ‘Dam Keeper'” was held at Creation Gallery G8 in Ginza, Tokyo in 2016 and at Ishinomori Manga Museum in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture in 2017. The exhibition gave visitors a sense of the atmosphere of the U.S. studio and the behind-the-scenes production of “The Dam Keeper”. In 2019, “Tonko House Animation Exhibition” was be held in Seoul, Korea. In addition to the exhibition of approximately 140 sketches, original drawings, characters, and videos, the exhibition also included kids’ workshops and other hands-on content, which was enjoyed by many visitors, both children and adults.
In the same year, the “Tonko House Film Festival” was held at the EJ Animation Theater in Shinjuku. The festival screened animation works from around the world and invited guests to give lectures on animation, and has been well received by many fans.
堤大介(Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi)
東京都出身。スクール・オブ・ビジュアル・アーツ卒業。ルーカス・ラーニング、ブルー・スカイ・スタジオなどで 『アイスエイジ』や『ロボッツ』などのコンセプトアートを担当。2007年ピクサーに招聘されアートディレクターとして 『トイ・ストーリー3』や『モンスターズ・ユニバーシティ』などを手がける。2014年7月ピクサーを去りトンコハウスを設立。初監督作品『ダム・キーパー』は2015年米アカデミー賞短編アニメーション賞にノミネート。2021年には日本人として初めて米アニー賞のジューン・フォレイ賞を受賞。一冊のスケッチブックに71人の著名なアーティストが一枚ずつ絵を描き、手渡しで世界中を巡るというプロジェクト『スケッチトラベル』の発案者でもある。