Tonko House, the studio founded by former Pixar art directors Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, is developing a feature film based on their Academy Award-nominated short The Dam Keeper.

The creators of "The Dam Keeper" plan to expand the short's universe with a graphic novel series and a feature film. (Click to enlarge.)
The creators of “The Dam Keeper” plan to expand the short’s universe with a graphic novel series and a feature film. (Click to enlarge.)

The announcement was made along with the news that Tonko House is partnering with First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan, to expand their short into a graphic novel series.

“The reason to continue telling stories in the universe of The Dam Keeper is a deeply personal story close to our hearts,” said Tsutsumi.

The first book in The Dam Keeper graphic novel series will be released in 2016, picking up the narrative some years after the original story of the orphaned Pig and his quest to maintain the town dam. It will address two questions unanswered in the film: what happened to Pig’s parents, and how did his world come to be at the mercy of a dark cloud? No details about the feature film have been released.

“It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to create a cinematic experience in the form of illustrated novels, with the pacing and richness we have learned with film,” said Kondo. Through these books, we are challenging ourselves to take our concept art and storytelling to the next level.”

Last year Cartoon Brew interviewed Kondo and Tsutsumi about The Dam Keeper and life after Pixar: