Who We Are

At Sprite Animation Studios we specialize in creating CG animated works. Our passion to create something that is uniquely ours – infused with Spriteness – gave birth to Sprite Animation Studios in 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2004, Sprite Animation Studios relocated to Los Angeles, which has been our home ever since. Although our company is American-born and bred, our core staff is comprised of creative minds with cultural roots in both Japan and America. The collaboration of these "East Meets West" values allows us to create unique works which we delight in sharing with the world. As a small boutique studio in LA we swim in a big pond but our great passion and pride allow us to achieve what would be thought unachievable. We believe that a good CG-animated story has the magical power to touch and transport its audience to a different time and place, and we will always be passionate about crafting this magic for our audience!


In early 2009, Sprite entered into a partnership with OLM Digital, Inc., expanding our production capacity and our ability to handle large-scale projects. This has also made possible a seamless production line between LA and Tokyo through the sharing of Sprite's workflow methods and tools perfected over five years of research and development by its internal team. This lead to our first joint production in 2013: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (Disney XD), in which the entire production process – from storyboard to delivery – was handled by Sprite and OLM. In 2016, we saw the launch of our much anticipated theatrical films, Rudolf: The Black Cat and Snack World: Lenny the Misanthrope. So what is next for Sprite? To continue creating CG-animated projects that resonate with our audience – projects with a touch of Spriteness!

Meet The Team

MOTO SAKAKIBARA

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Chief Creative Officer

After working at companies such as JCGL (the first Japanese CG production studio), Namco, HDCG NY, Moto joined Square. In 1997, he directed a cutscene for, “Final Fantasy VII”. After than, he moved to Square USA and co-directed the film “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”.

 

In 2002, Moto founded Sprite in Hawaii. As a creative director, he was involved in the development of several original works. In 2006, the short film, "Monster Samurai" was selected at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. He also directed “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” for Disney XD, “Kong: King of the Apes” for Netflix, the 2016 film “Rudolf the Black Cat” and the short film, “The Snack World: Lenny the Misanthrope”. In 2019, Moto also co-directed the 22nd installment of the Pokémon film series, “Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution” alongside director Kunihiko Yuyama.

JUNICHI YANAGIHARA

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COO & Executive Producer

After being involved in the work of game companies such as Square and Enix, as an associate at Perkins Coie LLP, an international law firm in Washington State (Washington State Attorney Qualifications), Junichi joined Square’s US division and was responsible for new game and video production. He founded the studio which produced the 2001 CG film, “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”, and was involved in the production of “Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris”. In 2002, he and several other members founded Sprite in Hawaii. In addition to the development of original content at Sprite, Junichi is also responsible for managing production services, the production of localized content, human resources, and sales.

TATSURO MARUYAMA

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Vice President & Art Director

After working as a designer for illustration, advertising, and magazines, he joined Sigma Co., Ltd. in 1992, and became independent after being involved in commercial production, CG video production for TV programs, and CG movie production for games. After that Tatsuro established a CG production company. In 1997, he was involved in the production of the film, "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" as the lead artist, and then the supervisor of Set & Props in the production of "Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris". Since the founding of Sprite in 2002, he has art directed numerous works and projects, including Sprite's original works "Journey to the West" and "Monster Samurai", as well as “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures”, “Kong: King of the Apes”, “Rudolf the Black Cat”, and “Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution”.

After graduating from university, Tetsuya worked as the lead artist / supervisor for character models and rigs. In 2004, he joined Sprite. He was involved as a character supervisor for the television series, “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” (Disney XD), “Kong: King of the Apes” (Netflix), as well as for the films, “Rudolf the Black Cat” and “Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution”.

TETSUYA ISHII

Character Supervisor

TAKUJI TOMOOKA

Lighting & Compositing Supervisor

After graduating from university, Takuji joined Square (now Square Enix) as the CGI designer for video game film production. While working at Visual Works, Square’s CGI department, Takuji was involved in the production of the 2002 film, “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. Takuji is also one of the founding members of Sprite. He was the lighting / compositing supervisor for the TV series, “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” (Disney XD) and Kong: King of the Apes” (Netflix), as well as the sequence supervisor for the films, “Rudolf the Black Cat”, and “Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution”.

History