A pair of Irish stars have signed on to the latest Cartoon Saloon joint.
Chris O’Dowd (My Father’s Dragon) and Amy Huberman (A Cat Called Jam) have signed on to lead the voice cast of Puffin Rock and the New Friends, a new animated feature from London-based WestEnd Films in collaboration with the Oscar-nominated Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers) and Northern Ireland’s Dog Ears. Wildcard Distribution will be releasing the film in cinemas across Ireland and Northern Ireland later this year.
Puffin Rock And The New Friends, which is currently in post-production, is the first animated feature to be produced in Northern Ireland with funding from Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Ireland, RTÉ, and BBC Alba.
Based on the Emmy-nominated Irish TV series Puffin Rock and the New Friends is directed by Jeremy Purcell, whose credits include the animated TV series JOE AND JACK as well as the original PUFFIN ROCK series and the animated features SONG OF THE SEA and THE SECRET OF KELLS.
Puffin Rock And The New Friends will follow favourites from the animated series, including Oona, Baba, May, and Mossy, who are joined by a new cast of characters as Isabelle, Phoenix, and Marvin arrive on the island. The story starts as the last Little Egg of the season disappears under mysterious circumstances. Oona and her new friends race against time to bring the Little Egg home before a big storm hits Puffin Rock and puts the entire island in danger.
The pic is billed as “an action-packed story that celebrates our magnificent natural environment and features themes of belonging, courage, and friendship.”
Sara Daddy wrote the screenplay and was the Head Writer on the original series. The film is produced by Paul Young, Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey from Cartoon Saloon, and John McDaid and Fionnuala Deane from Dog Ears, with the feature film created by both studios.
Other crew members include editor Sophie Borlée, assistant director Lorraine Lordan and art directors Fran Bravo and Stefano Scapolan. The score is composed by Eberg.
The original series was nominated for an International Emmy, and picked up two Kidscreen Awards and a Royal Television Award. It was acquired by various international broadcasters, including a global deal with Netflix and a Chinese acquisition by China Nebula Group (CNB), where it was broadcast on TenCent.