Thursday, February 29, 2024

Japan’s Dwarf Studios Enlists Stop-Motion for Netflix’s Pokémon Concierge

Making its global debut over the New Year period, “Pokémon Concierge” marks the first collaboration between Netflix and The Pokémon Company. The delightful series follows Haru, a new concierge, who takes care of the Pokémon alongside the experienced senior staff. As she learns the ropes of keeping her guests happy, she also goes on a journey of adventure, friendship, and self-discovery.

Using stop-motion animation to tell the new story, dwarf studios brought beloved Pokémon to life in ways never seen before.

Annie Award-winning artist Tadahiro Uesugi, who crafted the concept design for the Pokémon Resort as well as the character design for Haru and other human characters, wanted to add an element of surprise to the setting of the Pokémon world. He adds, “Most importantly, we wanted people to actually see it and say, ‘That looks fun.’”

To give more depth to the series, the production team paid meticulous attention to every detail, down to every smile or wink by the human characters, creating 30 pieces of facial expressions for Haru to convey a full range of emotions.

From Psyduck’s waddle to Haru’s running, director Iku Ogawa also focused on how each Pokémon and human character move. By refining the details of each character from the script, he was able to add realism to the make-believe world.

Eagle-eyed fans of the Pokémon entertainment franchise will enjoy spotting familiar Pokémon design elements scattered throughout the resort. “We included details in the background so you can find something new every time you watch,” says Ogawa. “I hope you’ll watch it over and over.”

Project Details:

  • Director: Iku Ogawa (dwarf studios)
  • Screenplay by: Harumi Doki
  • Concept Arts / Character Design: Tadahiro Uesugi
  • Production: dwarf studios
  • Original (Japanese) Voice Cast: Non, Fairouz Ai, Eita Okuno, Yoshiko Watanabe
  • English Voice Cast: Karen Fukuhara, Imani Hakim, Josh Keaton, Lori Alan
  • Main theme song, “Have a Good Time Here” by: Mariya Takeuchi
  • Series Format: 4 episodes x 14-20 mins each

See the behind the scenes video at https://youtu.be/PqYkpkgqlpo

Visit https://www.netflix.com/pokemonconcierge

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