Toei Animation is one of the most successful animation studios in the world, owed in no small part to their anime adaptions of the most popular manga in existence — Dragon Ball, One Piece, et al. There was a time when the mainstream wasn’t aware of Toei outside of Japan, but now everyone knows who they are. And Toei plans to use that recognition for their first animated film targeted at a Western audience.
Called Hypergalactic, the film uses CG animation and tells the story of an adventurous teenage girl and her baby brother, who live in a future time when pedestrian space travel is possible. They’re seeking the help of Ohkan, the forgotten protector of Earth (here’s where details are light, as the release doesn’t explain why Ohkan would be forgotten or how he protects Earth).
The two kids and Ohtan then journey into space, hoping to use Ohtan’s abilities to find their lost parents. “Together, the unlikely trio sets off on a surprise-filled journey, discovering the deeper meaning of family along the way,” says Toei. Yoshi Ikezawa, Kozo Morishita, Katsuhiro Takagi and Tim Kwok are serving as producers.
Hypergalactic is being produced in English first, with the voices of Adam Devine (The Righteous Gemstones, The Out-Laws) as Ohtan, Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade, Despicable Me) as the teenage girl, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy) and Sam Richardson (Veep, The Afterparty).
The interesting part of all this is that the story and characters come from Japanese artist Naoto Oshima, the one who designed Sonic the Hedgehog. You wouldn’t know from the one promotional image Toei is sharing, but the connection is there. It’s better than hiring Yuji Naka anyway (assuming they let him out of prison).
More about Toei’s Hypergalactic, like when we could see it released in the US, should be revealed in the coming months.