AWARD winning animators, Cartoon Saloon, have done it again.
The pioneering film and television show producers have wrapped up another movie deal which will see them do most of the work in their Kilkenny city headquarters at The Maltings, Tilbury Place. Work is expected to begin in March on a new feature length film called, Moon Man.
The total budget for the film is 4.2 million euro. None of the English voices have yet been cast and hopes are high that an actor of the calibre of Brendan Gleeson will do one of the voices for the latest production.
Cartoon Saloon are putting up a lot of the cash themselves with more coming via the Irish Film Board and though a government tax incentive scheme. The total funding is almost 5 million euro.
"We will be finalising the look of the film in Kilkenny, designing characters and backgrounds and then supervising the animation," Cartoon Saloon's Paul Young told the Kilkenny People.
The author of the book, Moon Man, on which the film is based, Tomi Ungerer, also illustrated the book. He is famous for designing the poster for Doctor Strangelove, the iconic Stanley Kubrick film and for creating many celebrated New Yorker magazine covers. He lives now in County Cork.
Moon Man is a story about the man on the moon visiting earth to experience its beauty, music and people, only to be put in prison, because he is seen as a threat by an evil dictator. He gets rescued in the end by an eccentric scientist, so there's a happy ending. Work on the co-production with France and Germany should start in the springand will a welcome boost to the city.
Cartoon saloon are doing a pilot programe for Disney and if all goes well they could end up doing a series for the successful childrens' televison channel and film studio.
And their highly successful film, The Secret of Kells was aired on RTE 1 television on Christmas Day. The Oscar nominated feaure length film based around the Book of Kells. it begins with the Viking hordes approaching the abbey with the monks of Kells forced to turn their attention from transcribing manuscripts to building barricades. The future of the precious book was in jeopardy and it fell to Brendan, young nephew of the abbot Cellach, to save the day. It was the Kilkenny outfit's first feature film and was directed by Tomm Moore with Nora Twomey as co-director. Nominated for an Academy Award in 2009 for best animated feature, the Secret of Kells has screened and won awards in major festivals worldwide.