Irish animation firms at White House Paddy’s Day celebrations

21 Mar 2011

The directors from two of Ireland’s top animation companies, Nicky Phelan of Brown Bag Films and Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon, attended the St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House on Thursday.

The two companies, which are clients of Enterprise Ireland, achieved numerous awards for their productions in the US market and internationally in 2010.

Brown Bag Films was nominated for the 2010 Academy Awards with its internationally popular Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, directed by Nicky Phelan. It has recently established an office in Los Angeles to support its increasing growth in the US. 

The company recently attained a major deal with Disney US and is in production on ‘Doc McStuffins, a 52 x 11-minute 3D animated series featuring a young girl who treats the neighbourhood’s ill and injured toys in her backyard surgery. The show is set to premiere on the new Disney Junior block later this year. 

Brown Bag Films’ most recent production, The Octonauts, will premiere in the US next year on the Disney channel. It is already the No 1 pre-school show on the BBC (UK) and ABC (Australia) since it debuted six months ago.   

Cartoon Saloon was also nominated for the 2010 Academy Awards with its first feature film, The Secret of Kells. It has numerous projects under way, including a new pilot for Disney, and a new feature film with Le Pacte in France and Schesch Film Germany based on Tomi Ungerer’s popular children’s book Moon Man.

Brown Bag Films and Cartoon Saloon are two of Ireland’s top animation companies making a name for the country internationally, and creating employment opportunities, with hundreds of Irish individuals employed in this multi-million dollar industry.

Chairman of Enterprise Ireland Hugh Cooney, who was in the US last week, said, “Ireland is widely regarded as a world leader in the animation field, with Irish companies earning international acclaim for sophisticated and leading-edge 2D and 3D animation creations for cinema screens, television, web, mobile and games consoles. Furthermore, Irish companies like Brown Bag Films, Cartoon Saloon and many more are providing top-end animation services for the entertainment media sector worldwide, as well as creating high-value IP for the international market.”