by Chris MaGee
The cast of the upcoming "Asahiyama Dobutsuen Monogatari (Penguins in the Sky: Asahiyama Zoo)" including Toshiyuki Nishida, Ittoku Kishibe and Naomasa Musaka (above) have got together, à la "We Are the World", to record the theme song for the film, "Yume ni nari tai (I want to be a dream)". Written by songwriter Shinzi Tanimura the song will be released to help raise money for the real Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō.
The film, directed by veteran actor Masahiko Tsugawa, tells the real-life story of how the zoo's manager Masao Kosuge (played Toshiyuki Nishida) and staff brought the 40-year-old zoo back from a disastrous Echinococcus outbreak in 1994 that shut down the facility to make it the most popular zoo in Japan with over 320,000 visitors in 2004.
You can hear a sample of the the cast recording of "Yume ni nari tai" by heading to the film's official site where it plays while you navigate.
While you're at it check out the über-cute trailer for "Asahiyama Dobutsuen Monogatari", due out in Japan February 7th, below. Thanks to Variety Japan for the story and image.