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Production company Cyber Group Studios announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with Nippon Animation to co-produce an animated film based on the Tico and Friends anime titled Nanami and the Quest for Atlantis. The companies also plan on producing a follow-up animated series for the film.

Cyber Group Studios describes the film:

Nanami and the Quest for Atlantis is set in the gold rush era, around 1850, and explores the relationship between humans and nature. The story follows 14-year-old Nanami, her lifelong orca companion, Tico, and her traveling partner, 17-year-old Seira, as they travel the ocean in search of a hidden treasure and discover what is truly important to humankind. During their adventure they will come to understand the answer to the question Nanami’s father, Professor Scott, posed before they left home, “What is more important than material fortune?”

Hitoshi Takekiyo (After School Midnighters, Appleseed XIII) is directing the 90-minute film, which will have 2D and 3D hybrid animation.

The film is the first project in Cyber Group Studios and Nippon Animation’s partnership, which will see joint productions of new properties as well as reboots of “Nippon Animation’s classic series.”

The Tico and Friends anime aired in 1994 in Japan on Fuji TV. Jun Takagi (Chibi Maruko-chan, Karl to Fushigi na Tō) directed the series and Akira Hiro is credited as the original creator. Satoko Morikawa (The Cat Returns, Princess Arete) designed the characters and Shigeru Morimoto (Hunter X Hunter, Before Green Gables) was the art director. The series is part of Nippon Animation’s “World Masterpiece Theater,” but unlike the other adapted works in the series Tico and Friends was an original work.

Sources: Cyber Group Studios’ website via Kidscreen, Animation Magazine