The Dam Keeper

Screens in “Animated Tales” shorts program
Saturday, September 20 at 10:00 a.m.

Directors: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
18 min.

“The Dam Keeper,” a short film by feature animation artists Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi tells the tale of a young pig encumbered with an important job, and the meeting of a new classmate who changes everything.

Set in a desolate future, one small town’s survival is solely due to a  large windmill dam that acts as a fan to keep out poisonous clouds.  Despite bullying from classmates and an indifferent public, the dam’s operator, Pig, works tirelessly to keep the sails spinning in order to protect the town.  When a new student, Fox, joins Pig’s class, everything begins to change.

“The Dam Keeper” blends traditional hand-drawn animation with lush brushstrokes to bring Kondo and Tsutsumi’s celebrated painting style to life like never before.  Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen of television’s “Forbrydelsen” (“The Killing”), and “Sherlock, narrates the film.

Produced by Megan Bartel & Duncan Ramsay



Dice Tsutsumi, originally from Japan, is a celebrated illustrator, painter and philanthropist.  Dice’s paintings have exhibited around the world, and in 2009, his first children’s book I Can Hear was published in Japan.  A graduate from The School of Visual Arts in New York, Dice has worked as a visual development / 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’.  Dice is passionate about charity work and spearheaded both The Totoro Forest Project and Sketchtravel.

Robert Kondo, art director at Pixar Animation Studios, lends his unique design sensibilities and passion for storytelling as co-director of The Dam Keeper.  Originally from Southern California, Robert graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and has worked at Oblique Strategies and Angel Studios.  Robert’s film credits include Sets Art Director for ‘Ratatouille’ , ‘Toy Story 3’, and most recently ‘Monsters University’.