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Tsuneo Goda is a Japanese stop motion animator and filmmaker. Tsuneo's film, Mogu and Perol, is a story about two friends living on Yummy Island, where delicious food can be found everywhere! Whenever Mogu is cooking, Perol just pops up and eats the yummy meal. One day Perol finds a very tasty looking Brrrr-berry that Mogu was about to pick. Perol doesn't wait for a second to taste the berry which brings about an unexpected quarrel between the two. Mogu and Perol won Best Animation at the 5th annual Top Shorts 2019. We invited Tsuneo to join us for an interview. Here's his story.

Tsuneo, congratulations on winning the annual competition at Top Shorts. Mogu and Perol was one of our favorites here at Top Shorts: ingenious and rich, an absolute delight! Before we talk about it, please tell us a bit about yourself; Where are you currently based, and where are you originally from?

I am from and still based in Tokyo. Not center of Tokyo but in the outskirts where there are not many high-rise bldgs.

Why did you decide to get into filmmaking? Tell us about your journey. Are there any films or filmmakers that influenced your style? I got involved in film-making when I was in high school - a senior grade student took me into this world.

I can't pick any film or filmmakers since they are too many that I am under the influence.

I love music and think I am also heavily influenced by many music makers. How did the project of Mogu and Perol come about? Our panel member, Lisa Roumain, described the characters as hilarious and well-formed. How did you come up with the story, and what was the inspiration for the characters? We were trying to think of a theme we want children to watch and came up with an idea to feature 'food'.

There are many 'shapes of happiness' but I thought having time to enjoy 'yummy' food and having someone to share that is one of the great happy moments.

As to the characters, I wanted to create a contrasting pair of charcters - one who is gentle and a bit slow and the other who is quick and a bit selfish. I designed the characters to represent such personalities.

Animation can be a very long process... Can you take us through the process and share what was the most challenging part of the production?

I write the story, create the character and develop the storyboard.

Then there will be specialists to work on the art, puppets, shooting and animation.

This film was shot by 12 frames per second with three stages and three animators - average of 6 sec a day per animator.

The challenge with this film was how to make the food look really delicious.

But I think what is equally difficult for any film is to bring production money to the table.

If you could chat with a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give them?

Any experience will be meaningful later on. Please tell us about your upcoming projects, and when can our readers follow more of your work.

We are hoping to develop Mogu & Perol series. There are many other new projects coming up as well!

Mogu & Perol - Watch the film


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