“Let’s Eat” is a 6-minute animated film that centers on the relationship between a mother and daughter in a Chinese-American immigrant family.
As a single parent in an unfamiliar country, Ma’s entire life centers around raising Luan, her rambunctious young daughter. Likewise, Luan spends her childhood indulging in endless quality time with her playful, loving mother. However, it isn’t long before life gets in the way, and as Luan grows up, the mother and daughter duo also grow apart. By channeling their feelings into cooking, the two strive to find their way back to each other, one homemade meal at a time.
Anamon Studios was co-founded by Amy Kuo, Dixon Wong, and Andrew Wedell as a small passion project based in San Francisco, California. Their goal was to create stories that were authentic and relatable from an underrepresented perspective. In December 2016, Ma and Luan’s story was a simple idea shared by the trio, hoping to bring to life their dream and do justice to a story they wanted to share with the world. It quickly became clear that they weren’t the only ones who felt and believed the same. What was once three grew into a now independently-run animation studio, working with over 40 passionate aspiring creatives who have volunteered their expertise and time to support this vision. We are eager to share stories that bring diversity and representation to the forefront of the animation space!
“Let’s Eat” is a universal story told through a distinctly Asian American voice.
Ma and Luan’s tale touches upon mother-daughter relationships, the American immigrant experience, and the unspoken translation of love into food -- familiar themes reflected through a fresh perspective often overlooked in mainstream media. We at Anamon Studios aim to share in our similarities as much as we celebrate our differences, and to this end, we hope that “Let’s Eat” will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds and experiences.
It’s no secret that Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) stories are still sorely lacking in Western media. 64% of all shows do not feature any AAPI series regulars at all, and those that do often reduce their Asian characters to stereotypes, unable to control their own narratives.
It’s also no secret that there’s an undeniable demand for AAPI stories. From Fresh Off the Boat (2015), the first Asian-American-led sitcom since 1994, to Crazy Rich Asians (2018), set to be the first Hollywood all-Asian cast in 25 years, it is incredibly exciting to anticipate dynamic representations of the Asian experience on small and big screens alike.
“Let’s Eat” is our heartfelt and sincere contribution to AAPI representation in media.
Now, we’d like to invite you to join our “Let’s Eat” family as well! Although we’ve made great progress on this film, we need additional resources and support to bring this passion project to life.
Dixon Wong (Director, Story Artist, Animator)
From taking animation classes to co-founding Anamon Studios, Dixon has created and animated a variety of projects, including Anamon’s short film, “The J-9000.” Let’s Eat is Dixon’s first foray into writing and directing, and is a project particularly close to his heart -- after all, Ma and Luan are loosely inspired by Dixon’s own mother and grandmother.
“In many ways, Let’s Eat is a love letter to my parents. As children grow older, we often lose sight of the people who helped us succeed. In my case, I began to take my parents for granted. With this story, I want to show appreciation for all the things they have done for me that I may not have been able to see or appreciate at that time.”
Amy Kuo (Producer, CGI Rigger)
With a background that spans everything from managing product launches in Silicon Valley to working at Disney-owned VFX & Animation studio ILM (Industrial Light & Magic), Amy brings a uniquely multifaceted perspective as co-founder of Anamon Studios. Prior to producing Let’s Eat, Amy has also produced “The J-9000” and worked on blockbuster hits such as The Last Jedi, Black Panther, Jurassic World, and Avengers: Infinity Wars.
“Our story showcases the bittersweet reality of how oftentimes leaving the nest can also mean leaving one’s parents behind. For immigrant parents, this becomes especially poignant as they have often sacrificed their own countries and cultures to make their children’s dreams possible. As the child of immigrants myself, I want to dedicate Let’s Eat to all the parents out there - especially those who are immigrants and who so rarely get to have their stories told.”
Luan is an adventurous and brave daughter. She is wide-eyed for this exciting new world and loves to cook with her mother. Luan adores her mother but is also caught in the cultural confusion that most first generation children go through. She symbolizes independence, exploration, and fun.
Ma is an unconditionally loving mother. She symbolizes tradition, roots and culture. Ma comes from a small village in China and falls in love with a man. They marry but unfortunately, her husband succumbs to an illness and passes away. Ma was pregnant with Luan and decides to move to the USA for a better life and opportunity for her child. She gets a job as a seamstress and is able to afford a little apartment in Oakland, California.
“Let’s Eat” has two settings: 1) The time when Luan was growing up, 1980’s to early 2000’s and 2) when Luan is fully grown up in 2018-2019. Luan’s childhood was set in a crummy two bedroom apartment in Oakland, California near Chinatown. In her adulthood, Luan lives in a high end modern minimalist apartment that’s in San Francisco.
Along the way, we have been lucky to meet some awesome creators who have continued to inspire and help us along the way. One of our greatest supporters and mentors thus far has been Nimble Collective, a startup in Mountain View, California that uses their cloud-based animation platform to help artists connect from anywhere in the world and make a cohesive film.
"When I first saw the rough draft of “Let’s Eat” over a year ago, I was very moved by their authentic portrayal of the characters. “Let’s Eat” is brimming with heart and sincerity. Just like the film, Amy and Dixon are very passionate and have a pulled together a dedicated and talented team to bring this beautiful story to life. Nimble Collective is proud to empower Anamon Studios and help them out however we can!" - Rex Grignon
Other reward designs coming soon!
Artists/Production - $6k
Software - $5k
Sound/Editor - $1.1k
Rewards - $4k
Pipeline Services - $2.5k
Campaign Fees - $1.4k
Festival Fees - $500
Total = ~$21k
- Shipping internationally: We’d love to share our story with the world, and more importantly, our rewards! If we reach $25k, we'll be able to expand shipping preferences to anywhere in the world.
- Physical art book: Nothing beats a physical book. If we reach $30k, we can deliver physical copies of our artbook to those with the reward.
- Stock sounds: There are only so many sound effects one can do on their own. If we reach $40k, we will be purchasing any additional stock sounds need to create the perfect auditory environment.
All of us here at Anamon Studios are incredibly passionate about this project and our message of representation, diversity, and mother/daughter love -- but we can’t finish “Let’s Eat” without YOUR help! If you’d like to show your support and bring Ma and Luan to life, take a look at ways to help below:
DONATE: By far the most important way to support this project is to DONATE to our Kickstarter campaign! With donations, we can: 1) Secure additional resources to further production and 2) Provide financial support to our existing team of amazing volunteers.
SHARING IS CARING: If this project resonates with you, SHARE our Kickstarter on social media! Tell your family, friends, coworkers, and community about Let’s Eat and encourage them to donate and spread the word!
Risks and challenges
Managing Pipeline: One of the biggest challenges of making an independent animated film is building and managing the animation pipeline. Animation is a beautiful medium that takes a lot of love and thousands of hours. This can often translate into delayed release dates and strained resources. Thankfully, Nimble Collective has helped with mitigating this risk by giving us a platform where we can work and collaborate with artists from all over, giving us access to talent we wouldn’t otherwise have!
Timeline: On a volunteer-based project such as Let’s Eat, our timeline may change over time. With additional funding, we can staff full-time animators and support our current volunteer staff to ensure a release date!
Budget: Our goal of $21,000 is the bare minimum to help get our film completed. However, with your help in reaching each of our stretch goals, we can create the absolute best version of our story!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)