In the 10 years since it debuted its first feature, The Secret of Kells, Cartoon Saloon has become a small but mighty force in the animation industry. The Kilkenny-based Irish studio, which employs only a couple hundred animators, is behind this year’s Oscar dark horse for animated feature, threatening the domination of Disney and Soul with the exquisite fantasy-adventure Wolfwalkers, the final film in its unofficial “Irish Folklore Trilogy.”
So what’s next for Cartoon Saloon? And when can we see it? Wolfwalkers directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart reveal they already have their next project lined up over at Apple TV+, the streamer that acquired their current awards contender.
In an interview with Deadline, Moore and Stewart spoke about taking on an endeavor like Wolfwalkers, which was one of their biggest and most ambitious feature films ever tackled at Cartoon Saloon, and how they still plan to jump straight to work on their next project once they recover from the toll of the two-year project. Moore told Deadline:
I think Ross and I are taking a sabbatical. It’s hard to speak about new projects that are only embryos at this stage, but the studio is very busy, thankfully. Wolfwalkers was the biggest thing we’ve tried yet, and now, we’re doing something even bigger with My Father’s Dragon. That project is so huge and they’re doing it all remotely, so I’m always impressed when I see what they’re pulling together for that one.
And we have a big series for Apple TV that’s not really announced. But it’s epic because it’s feature-quality, hand-drawn animation across 12 half-hours, and then a big, hour-long special at the end, which is going to take a lot of work.
My Father’s Dragon is the next feature film directed by Nora Twomey, who directed Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner and co-directed The Secret of Kells with Moore. It’s heading to Netflix this year, but it seems like Cartoon Saloon has otherwise found a steady relationship with Apple TV+, developing their next project for the streamer. And it sounds like a doozy: a “feature-quality, hand-drawn” animated series over 12 half-hour episodes and an hour-long finale that Moore describes as “epic”? Considering the grand qualities of their past works, especially the breathtaking Wolfwalkers, this series couldn’t sound more exciting.
Since Moore is done with his unofficial “Irish Folklore Trilogy,” it’s unclear whether this unnamed Cartoon Saloon animated series would follow in Wolfwalkers footsteps and deliver another epic fantasy steeped in Irish and Celtic mythology, though that is what Cartoon Saloon is becoming known for, and still excels at. Whatever the case, I’m intrigued to see what comes next from Cartoon Saloon, which is fast becoming the studio that could inherit Studio Ghibli’s title as the best example of what hand-drawn animation offer.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: An “Epic” Animated Series From ‘Wolfwalkers’ Studio Cartoon Saloon is Coming to Apple TV+’
Author: Hoai-Tran Bui
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February 23, 2021