Netflix has teamed up with Oscar-nominated animation studio Tonko House (The Dam Keeper, Moom, Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems) for an animated series based on Japanese folklore. Tonko House will be co-developing the series alongside Dwarf Studios, a Japanese stop-motion studio that produced Rilakkuma and Kaoru for Netflix.
Titled Oni, the series, which will feature a hybrid of both stop motion and computer-generated animation, is set in a world filled with the oddball gods and monsters of Japanese mythology. It follows one of the creature’s free-spirited daughters, Onari, determined to follow in the footsteps of the mighty heroes of lore, but her unique powers are yet to be revealed. Does she have what it takes to protect her peaceful village from the encroaching presence of the mysterious Oni who threaten the gods?
Tonko House co-founder Daisuke (Dice) Tsutsumi will serve as creator and showrunner on the series. Megan Bartel will serve as producer, and co-founder Robert Kondo, Kane Lee and Zen Miyake of Tonko House are executive producers. Early development partners include Japanese stop-motion animation house dwarf studios (Rilakkuma and Kaoru) and CG effects house Megalis VFX, also based in Japan.
Tsutsumi, a graduate from The School of Visual Arts in New York is originally from Japan. He has worked as a visual development and color key artist at Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age, Robots and Horton Hears a Who! His credits at Pixar Animation include lighting art director for Toy Story 3 and Monsters University.