One of the founders of Kilkenny animation studio Cartoon Saloon says every award nomination comes as a ‘great surprise’.
Their latest film Wolfwalkers has been nominated for a Golden Globe – the second time the studio has been nominated.
All three of the studio’s previous feature films have been nominated for Oscars.
Paul Young, Cartoon Saloon partner and creative director, told The Hard Shoulder they don’t take such nominations for granted.
He said: “We’ve had a pretty good run, I must say, in that each film we’ve made has been nominated for an Academy Award… this is our second Golden Globe nomination.
“But you never count your blessings… every time it’s a great surprise.
“It’s a great lift mainly for the crew… for a lot of people, it’s the first time for something they’ve worked on to be recognised like this.
“When we first got nominated back in 2009 or 10 for Secret of Kells, we were in a meeting next door figuring out where the next bit of cash was going to come in. “
Like many films, the distribution plan for Wolfwalkers was severely disrupted by the pandemic.
However, Paul said they were lucky to have the backing of one of the world’s biggest companies.
He said: “We had a good distribution here in the UK and Ireland with Wildcard Pictures theatrically, but of course we couldn’t do that… we came out and had to shut down again fairly quickly.
“But we did have Apple TV as a partner to stream it around the world… we’re sure we had way more people seeing the film than maybe our previous ones.
“We had great backup there, which was really wonderful.”
Paul said the crew are happy being in Kilkenny, working far away from film industry ‘centres of gravity’ like LA or London.
He said: “We have now a bit more recognition because of all the awards, and having Apple as a partner and having their support has been great.
“We can’t say anymore we’re the small little outfit in Ireland: we are moving up the ranks a little bit when it comes to awareness. People kind of know what to expect now from a Cartoon Saloon movie, and that’s a good thing.”
What’s next for Cartoon Saloon
Studio co-founder Nora Twomey (director of the award-winning The Breadwinner) is currently working on a project for Netflix, called My Father’s Dragon.
Development is also getting underway on a film led by Louise Bagnall, who wrote and directed Oscar-nominated short Late Afternoon.
Wolfwalkers director Tomm Moore, meanwhile, is considering what he’ll do next.
Paul said: “I think for Tom, he felt to do three movies about Irish mythology was neat and tidy.
“He’s contemplating on what he’s going to do next… I don’t think it’s going to be anything set in Ireland, but we don’t know yet.”
Paul said they don’t want the studio’s success to date to weigh those filmmakers down with big expectations.
He said: “We certainly don’t want to have that pressure over their heads at all. We focus on making a good story that we think family and kids would love.
“It can take up to seven years to get a film off the ground… it’s a long time, so you want to be really passionate about that idea to keep going.”
Wolfwalkers is currently streaming on Apple TV+.
Source: Stephen McNeice; Newstalk