The Wishing Cranes project still frame

The Wishing Cranes is about Yuki and Sho, two orphan siblings living in Japan in the 1960s. Sho is a responsible brother and a hardworking paper boy, Yuki, his younger sister simply wishes she could spend more time as a family.

Thomas Anderholm
Growing up in a small town called College Station, Texas, my passion for animation started at the age of 5, when one night I stayed up way past my bedtime and caught an episode of Cowboy Bebop on Adult Swim. At the time I couldn’t comprehend the themes that the show presented to me, nonetheless I was hooked. Everything about the show was exciting, dynamic, and entertaining. In hindsight it was really more of a curse than a blessing. As I grew older I began to realize that an animation like Cowboy Bebop, much like a first love, was hard to live up to. In American cartoons we try to hide mature themes from children, censoring some of life’s most important aspects, such as love, death, and our identity as human beings. As I grew even older and became an animator I found that there are very few places that want to create the mature and dynamic cinematic stories that I want to create. Which is why I find it my duty as an animator and storyteller to push the envelope for these stories no matter how few the chances are to tell them.

Ellen Arnold
I began pursuing a career in animation because I grew up wishing that I could create the crazy stories and ideas inside my head to share with others. With computer generated 3D content, I am able to artistically and technically create worlds and bring them to life. The ability to share my ideas visually is the most remarkable and amazing form of magic that I have experienced. I think it is important to always cherish and never take for granted the opportunity to work with such a beautiful medium. Because of this, I am so thankful to create and work with the amazing talented people that make up the animation industry everyday.

Kaiya Telle
Growing up in the woods and lakes of Minnesota, I have always had a love for story and films. My days were spent creating stories of my own, getting down and dirty (seriously covered in grass stains and sap) with my toys. I got right on their level to feel the adventure and excitement right along with my hot pink Barbie car full of dinosaurs or epic beanie baby dramas. I’ve never stopped loving stories and they’re something I sought out from a young age to pursue not just as a hobby, but something to center my life around. Now as I step into the Animation and Film Industry as a Layout Artist, I am beyond excited to share my passion where story comes alive in animation and where reality meets the fantastical world of VFX in live action film.

L to R: Thomas Anderholm, Ellen Arnold, Kaiya Telle


2017 NBR Student Grant


Type of Project





Ringling College of Art + Design


Lara Arikan

Writers & Editors

Thomas Anderholm, Ellen Arnold, and Kaiya Telle

, earnold [at]
Thomassethanderholm [at]