The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren’t the only anthropomorphic characters with martial arts backgrounds. Old school Ninja Turtles fans may remember Usagi Yojimbo, a rabbit samurai that appeared in a few episodes of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series and was part of the Playmates line of toys. With the Turtles making their return to the big screen, it only makes sense for Usagi to re-emerge, too, right? Lintika Films is doing everything they can to show that rabbits can kick ass, too.
This short film, Usagi Yojimbo – The Last Request, is a stop-motion animated spec demo used to show Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo creator, what they’re capable of doing in hopes of getting the rights to create full-length, stop-motion animated film. It all worked, as Sakai has allowed director Roel Robles and his team to go forward with the full feature.
As stated, the short is a spec demo, so it’s naturally rough around the edges. However, I enjoy the style and tone of the project. I’m not all too familiar with the comics and mythology behind Usagi Yojimbo, but I love the idea of using anthropomorphic animals based on Edo period Japanese culture. Here’s hoping we’ll see the full-length Usagi Yojimbo film sooner than later. For now, enjoy the short below.