Screencap from Inner Workings, April 12, 2018 – Youtube/.
CAIRO – 12 April 2018: DreamWorks has recently acquired two new projects from Disney animator Leo Matsuda, responsible for the Oscar-nominated Disney short film "Inner Workings", which played shortly before "Moana" in theatres.
Starting off as an animator and storyboard artist, Matsuda has in recent years expanded into creating his own projects, with his efforts finally beginning to bear fruit. "Inner Workings" combined 3D and 2D animation to tell the story of a man in conflict between his mind, logic and emotions. He has worked on films such as "Zootopia", "Big Hero 6" and "Wreck-It-Ralph", for which he earned an Annie Award for his work as a storyboarder.
Matsuda's projects include "Sputnik", an adaptation of a children's book by author Frank Cottrell-Boyce titled "Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth". The storyline of the book followed a young boy, named Prez, struggling to fit in, who one day meets a kid even more out of place than he is named Sputnik, with abilities such as reading minds and warping space and time around him. It's up to the two of them to save the Earth from a coming threat. If the project goes through, Sputnik will be Matsuda's feature film directorial debut, and the book's original author will be on-board to help adapt it into film.
The next project is a more personal one, the idea coming directly from Matsuda himself. Titled "Yokai Samba", few details have been revealed yet, other than the story is based on Matsuda's multi-cultural background of Japanese and Brazilian roots, and is inspired from a folk story he heard in his childhood.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks acquired the projects following a bidding war with Paramount Animation and Skydance Studios.