Everyone in Kilkenny is backing Cartoon Saloon for an Oscar win this weekend with their latest film, Wolfwalkers.
Set in medieval Kilkenny, the film is a triumph on many levels and sends out a powerful message about friendship, hope and the magic of nature in a time when it is desperately needed.
Humanity is currently facing unprecedented challenges and needs to take positive and meaningful environmental actions. Woven throughout Wolfwalkers are themes of hope, healing and the beauty that exists between people and nature when we choose to respect and cherish this symbiotic relationship. It is an uplifting and incredibly beautiful film that celebrates freedom and strength of spirit and it feels relevant and timely at a time when nature is under threat and our basic freedoms are curtailed.
It is the fifth time that the Kilkenny-based animation studio has been nominated for an Oscar and the third time for Tomm Moore, who co-directs Wolfwalkers, with Ross Stewart.
Many feel that this small, independent studio which is a significant player in the animation industry, is a deserving recipient and that Wolfwalkers — perhaps their greatest offering thus far — is in with a chance in what appears to be a two-horse race against Pixar’s Soul.
In a world of industry giants it appears sometimes difficult for smaller players to get just recognition for their work. Cartoon Saloon have been invited to the Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre for over a decade and it seems timely that on this their fifth outing the studio might be called up to the podium, albeit virtually.
This past year has been one like no other and for the team at Cartoon Saloon there will be no red carpets or award ceremonies to attend and mingle and mix with their peers.
Instead it has been a mish-mash of pre-recorded speeches, virtual Zoom ceremonies and other alternative forms of ceremony.
While the Oscars will take place in Los Angeles this Sunday, none of the Kilkenny crew will be in attendance due to Covid. Initially, it had been mooted that directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart would attend an Oscars hub in London but now the nominees and technical staff will attend a Kilkenny broadcast while the crew will link in virtually from home.
Fingers crossed come the early hours of Sunday morning, Kilkenny time, the Cartoon Saloon community will be celebrating their first Oscar win!
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