How an American children's story book, The Halloween Kid, and its creator Rhode Montijo, got the green light for the production of an animated special at noted Japanese anime studio Sanzigen.
Rhode Montijo, New York based author and illustrator of the popular story book, The Halloween Kid, is working on an animated special to be released this fall. Based on his book, the animated feature is about a lasso-twirling, broomstick-steed riding, mysterious masked boy who defends the existence of Halloween from enemies of the spooky holiday, the Goodie Goblins. We caught up with Rhode and spoke to him about how he ended up in Japan at Good Smile Company and Ultra Super Pictures working on his exciting new project.
Through a long domino effect of fortunate (and unfortunate) happenings over the course of the last couple of years, Rhode ended up partnering with his good friend and noted artist David Choe (you might remember Choe as the artist that created a mural for Facebook in exchange for company stock) to turn his story book into an animated feature. In the spirit of classic holiday television shows such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the animated version of The Halloween Kid is meant to bring the magic of the holiday back to television for a new generation of Halloween fans. As for how The Halloween Kid ended up being produced by noted animation studio Sanzigen of Ultra Super Pictures in Japan, we’ll let Rhode tell you in his own words.
“[Takanori Aki], president of Good Smile [Company and Ultra Super Pictures], while visiting LA one day, asked what Dave [Choe] had been up to lately and Dave explained that he was doing a cartoon with me. And that, apparently, without knowing details, Aki-san, who I had met briefly before, said that he also wanted to do it.” About a year later, Rhode was relocated to Japan and is currently there working on every detail of the production of the feature with the staff at Sanzigen. Anime fans will recognize Sanzigen as the studio that produced anime favorites Black Rock Shooter and Cyborg 009.
Rhode is proud to point out that even though a very talented studio is backing this project, it is being run with a small, tight knit group. There is no team of artists at his disposal, he illustrates all of the characters and props in the feature no matter how big or small, all in his distinctive retro-style that made him loved by legions of loyal fans. A local artist was tapped to help with the backgrounds and the screenplay is written by storyboard artist Jamie Baker. Rhode is diligent at keeping his fans in the loop during the production process by blogging about it on The Halloween Kid’s Facebook page.
Those interested should check it out through the links listed below. We got to see a few minutes of the animation and we have to say that we’re excited to see the finished product. The animated version of The Halloween Kid is slated to have a half-hour runtime and will be released this fall.
The Halloween Kid Official Facebook
Illustration: Rhode Montijo
Images: Jerry Tsai
Video: Pumpkinrot on YouTube