Irish animation continues to gain worldwide recognition this year with Jack O’Shea’s A Coat Made Dark being featured at Sundance Film Festival 2016, Brown Bag’s Peter Rabbit receiving it’s fifth Emmy Award and Cartoon Saloon’s feature Song of the Sea being recognised in Belgium’s Magritte awards and the UK’s Empire awards 2 years after its release. In light of all of this commercial and critical success, it is perfect timing for Darren William’s documentary Animation Inc. Ireland’s Creative Industry to show the world the incredible impact that past, present and future Irish creatives have had and will have on the animation industry as a whole.
This feature-length documentary will delve into the little known history of Ireland’s influential role in animation spanning back decades. Famously, Jimmy Murakami, the creative mind behind The Snowman, founded Murakami Films in Dublin in 1989 which produced such childhood favourites as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Storytellers. It may surprise audiences that films such as All Dogs Go To Heaven, An American Tail, The Land Before Time and The Pebble and the Penguin were also produced here. This came about because Don Bluth and several of his fellow ex-Disney coworkers came to Ireland in the late 70s and founded Sullivan Bluth studios.
Ireland’s animation industry may have sprouted wings in the 70s and 80s with predominately American influence, however in the decades since the industry has taken off with the formation of many independently Irish animation studios such as Cartoon Saloon and Brown Bag Films. This documentary will feature interviews with former Disney animators, Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (An American Tail, Land Before Time), Seamus Malone, Aardman Animation (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep), DreamWorks Animations’ Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo & Stitch), Irish Studios Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, Secret of Kells), Brown Bag Films (Doc McStuffins) Giant Animation, Barley Films, and many more. Viewers can expect to gain an insight into Ireland’s journey from American, UK and Canadian filmmakers coming here to produce their work into the present day where Irish talent-led studios are enjoying major success on the world stage. The film is currently being produced by Dublin-based production house Bruin Motion Pictures and as of yet does not have a release date. Stay tuned for updates.