The animated feature film Morten, which is slated to commence production at Telegael’s film studios in Baile na hAbhann, Galway on 19 September, will be the first stop-motion feature ever produced in Ireland.
Morten, tells the story of a dreamy, 10-year-old boy who whiles away his days fantasizing about captaining his own ship and trying to avoid the ire of his devious and reluctant guardian: Mean Spinster Anna (Pauline McLynn). Morten’s fantasizing goes some small way to distracting him from missing his father Captain Viks (Brendan Gleeson), who is away at sea. Morten aspires to be a captain some day, just like his dad. After a chance meeting with the mysterious and inept magician Senór Cucaracha (Tommy Tiernan), Morten finds himself shrunken down and aboard the deck of his very own toy sailing ship. But Morten has company in the form of an eerily familiar insect crew led by an evil Spider-Queen. With the help of a beautiful butterfly-friend Eliza, Morten must take back control of his ship which is caught up in a threatening storm. Others in the all-star Irish cast include Ciarán Hinds, Jason Byrne, Mario Rosenstock, Michael McElhatton and Neil Delamere. The film introduces young Irish talents Cian O’Dowd and Susie Power as Morten and his friend Elisabeth.
Paul Cummins, Telegael CEO said:“We are delighted to commence production on Morten which will be the first ever stop-motion animated feature film produced in Ireland. In recent years, Ireland’s indigenous animation industry has gone from strength to strength with Irish studios gaining unprecedented international recognition both commercially and creatively. We are pleased that the establishment of Telegael’s special purpose stop-motion studio in the Connemara Gaeltacht has added another dimension to Ireland’s burgeoning animation industry.
Telegael has invested substantial resources in developing and nurturing the techniques, skills and expertise associated with this specialist form of animation. The studio has developed an indigenous skills base by placing young Irish talent, particularly graduates from third level colleges such as IADT, UL and GMIT, side-by-side with experienced heads of department thereby providing unique, industry-related work experience.”
Morten is scheduled for completion in late 2017 and is a coproduction between Telegael (Ireland), Nukufilm (Estonia) and Grid-VFX (Belgium) in association with Calon of Wales. The project attracted significant interest from European and US distributors at Cartoon Movie 2016 in Lyon.