Cartoon Boom For Irish Animation Sector
With more than an estimated 300 full-time and freelance animators working in the Irish animation sector, the industry is actually bigger than it was when the Sullivan Bluth U.S. animation studio was based in Ireland during the early 1990s. However, now Irish animators are creating their own indigenous projects and raising their own finance from international broadcasters, rather than working on projects created by a U.S. studio.
Cartoon Saloon, the Kilkenny-based animation studio, is employing 250 animators, working on various projects including a major animated feature film BRENDAN AND THE SECRET OF KELLS and their TV series SKUNK FU. Other successful Irish animation companies include Telegael, Jam Media, Barley Films, Caboom, Del 9 and Boulder Media.
Aidan Hickey, who sits on the board of CARTOON, the organization that runs Cartoon Forum, said, Its been a constant concern for the Board of CARTOON that only producers from the big three France, Germany, the U.K. could secure funding for their projects at the Cartoon Forum. But, ever since Cartoon Saloon presented Skunk Fu at the Cartoon Forum in 2003, this has changed. At a Board meeting after the 2005 Forum, I suggested that other small countries might emulate the success of the Irish studios An experienced Producer from one of the big three shook his head and said, Ah yes but the Irish have talent extraordinary talent. Its fair to conclude that, building on what was learned from the Americans in the 80s and early 90s, our animators have created a really strong base for themselves within Europe.