Credit of featured image: Cartoon Saloon animation studio
The following news article was written on the 11th December 2020
The latest animated feature film from Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon has recently charted as the no.1 film at the Irish box office and reached 3rd overall in UK/Ireland. Wolfwalkers has received rave reviews since its cinema release and is also been tipped by Variety for the academy award for best animated feature. The film is being released on Apple TV today making it the first animated feature film available on their service. The is the third animated feature film from two-time Academy Award nominee Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart.
The Wolfwalkers world premier took place at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. Since then it has also been screened at the BFI London Film Festival and to a sold-out audience at the Cork Film Festival. Speaking at a recent press conference, Cartoon Saloon partner and creative producer Paul Young spoke about the significance of the film’s release on Apple TV. “It’s brilliant for us because they’ve such a great reach.”
The storyfollows a young hunter who journeys to Ireland with her father in a time of superstition and magic to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring outside the city walls, she befriends Mebh, a member of a tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night.
Speaking in more depth about the inspiration behind the film, Mr. Young spoke about directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart and their passion for the natural world. “Tomm and Ross have known each other since they were 12. They’re both animal rights activists and they’re both vegan”.
Cartoon Saloon was founded by Paul Young, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey. Since their establishment they’ve received multiple Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy nominations. Their 2014 release, Song of the Sea was the first animated feature to win Best Picture at the Irish IFTA Academy awards.
Originally scheduled for theatrical release in October, the release was delayed due to the implementation of level 5 covid-19 government restrictions. The film’s trailer features the track “running with wolves” by Norwegian artist Aurora. The distribution of Wolfwalkers is being managed by Wildcard Distribution , Ireland’s most successful film distributor. Since their establishment in 2013 they have released the biggest Irish titles over the last number of years including Black 47, The Young Offenders, and Cardboard Gangsters.
To celebrate the release of the film, the Butler Gallery, at the historic Evan’s home in the heart of Kilkenny, have recently opened their Wolfwalkers exhibition. The exhibition, designed by Steven McNamara of Roji, will include core working drawings and backgrounds of this animated film whose story is set in medieval Kilkenny in 1650.
Paul Young is also the co-founder of Kilkenny Animated, a festival of visual storytelling to showcase the talents and profiles of world renowned illustrators, designers, animators and cartoonists which celebrated its inaugural year in 2018. He is also a board member of Animation Ireland, the representative body for animation studios in Ireland as well as an Ernst and a Young Entrepreneur of the year finalist.