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Moto Sakakibara to direct Gon movie

15/07/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Gon in the USA - or Buy Gon in the UK

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Moto Sakakibara, co-director of Square Pictures and Columbia Pictures' Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, will direct Sprite Animations Studios' first CG animated feature film Gon. The film, slated for a 2007 release, will be based on Masashi Tanaka's manga series Gon.

Gon is a comical adventure about the main character, Gon, a foot-tall dinosaur living in a modern-day savanna. He shares his wit and humor in a subtle but sometimes outrageous way as he takes on beasts ten times his size, revealing a sense of justice never before seen in the wild.

"I'm very excited at the opportunity to bring this extremely popular character Gon to life in a movie," said Sakakibara. "To stay true to the uniqueness of the manga classic, we are taking on the challenge of portraying Gon's character without dialogue in the feature. Gon's physical language in the manga is so compelling we are confident that this will translate well over to the big screen."

Sakakibara founded Sprite Animation Studios (www.spritee.com) in June 2002 with a few of his colleagues from Square who worked on "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" with him. Sprite Animation is based in Los Angeles, CA and is committed to create and produce CGI animation for film and television productions, video games and commercial advertisement.

The manga (Japanese comic book) version of Masashi Tanaka's "GON" was first introduced in Japan in 1991, through Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine. It quickly took the public by storm, accounting for many of the best-selling issues of the magazine.

The tale is told without dialog or captions, but rather through the actions and expressions of Gon, the lead character, and the other animals' reaction to him. Gon has been translated and published in several countries including the United States, Canada and France.

Gon has received numerous international awards including Best Humor Publication and Best US Edition of Foreign Material through the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards presented at the 1998 COMICON in San Diego.

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