Star Wars Visions – ‘Screechers Reach’

In February Cartoon Saloon was announced as one of 9 studios worldwide to be involved in the second series of the Disney+ and Lucasfilm ‘Star Wars Visions’.

Cartoon Saloon’s episode, titled ‘Screecher’s Reach’ is directed by Paul Young in his directorial debut and the series will be aired on Disney+ on May 4th.

“The reaction to the first volume of Star Wars: Visions blew us away. We were delighted that this project inspired and resonated with so many people,” says James Waugh, Star Wars: Visions executive producer and senior vice president, Franchise Content & Strategy, at Lucasfilm. “We always saw Star Wars: Visions as a framework for celebratory expressions of the franchise from some of the best creators working today. Animation is in a global renaissance, and we’re constantly staggered by the amount of creativity pushing the medium forward. With Volume 1, the imaginative minds of Japan’s anime industry were on full display. With Volume 2, we expanded our canvas to take audiences on a global tour of some of the most talented creators from around the world. We’re so proud to be able to reveal the line-up of studios we’ve assembled. Every short is incredible, full of heart, scope, imagination, and the values that make stories distinctly Star Wars — all while opening up bold new ways of seeing what a Star Wars story can be.

Puffin Rock and the New Friends

Following their successful collaboration on Oscar nominees Song of the Sea and The Breadwinner, WestEnd Films is teaming up again with Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon and Northern Ireland’s Dog Ears on Puffin Rock and the New Friends, the movie based on the acclaimed brand and award-winning TV series Puffin Rock.

Puffin Rock and the New Friends sees our family favourites, Oona, Baba, May and Mossy joined by a new cast of characters, as Isabelle, Phoenix and Marvin arrive on the island. It’s an action-packed story which celebrates our magnificent natural environment, and features themes of belonging, courage and friendship. When the last Little Egg of the season disappears under mysterious circumstances, Oona and her new friends race against time to bring the Little Egg home before a big storm hits Puffin Rock and puts the entire island in danger.

The film is directed by Jeremy Purcell who previously directed the animated TV series Joe and Jack and worked on the TV series Puffin Rock, as well as on Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells.

Chris O’Dowd (Puffin Rock, My Father’s Dragon), Amy Huberman (A Cat Called Jam, Derry Girls), Beth McCafferty and Eva Whittaker (WolfWalkers, Millie and Lou) lead the voice cast.

Director Jeremy Purcell said: “Puffin Rock is a wonderful place to live, but what if it just doesn’t feel like your home. Sadly in the world we live in, more and more children are being forced to leave all they have known, and move somewhere new. Puffin Rock and the New Friends is a story of one little puffin’s journey to making friends, finding happiness and, most importantly, making a new place a home.”

Paul Young, CEO of Cartoon Saloon, said: “I’m very happy to announce our Puffin Rock feature with our brilliant partners Dog Ears, China Nebula Pictures and WestEnd Films. There are a lot of kids hungry for some more adventures with Oona, Baba and Friends and we don’t want to let them down! Our movie has lots of laughs and thrills for younger viewers and for many we expect Puffin Rock and the New Friends will be their first cinema experience!”.

Julián is a Mermaid

It was announced earlier this year that Cartoon Saloon is currently in development on Oscar-nominated filmmaker Louise Bagnall’s (Late Afternoon) debut feature Julián, based on the picture book Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love.

​​Julián is the story of a boy who wants to be a mermaid. The wide-eyed Julián spends a summer of discovery in NYC with his Abuela. Nearly strangers, they brace themselves for tense conversations and new adventures. The colourful chaos of Abuela’s world, and the stories she tells him, awakens something within Julián… questions about who he is and who he could be. Julián’s journey will reach across the diaspora, from Brooklyn block to the depths of the ocean, in an intergenerational ebb and flow. Through Abuela’s world, Julián explores his identity, gender expression and the hidden heritage of his family.

“I’ve never adapted anything before,” the director told Cartoon Brew about her next project. But when Julián is a Mermaid was brought to the studio by David Yate’s Wychwood Media, Bagnall looked through the material and knew “it was a project that I can feel passionate about, but also something that speaks to me artistically, visually, thematically. And more importantly, what did I want to spend years of my life working on?”

As part of the development, the studio reached out to the author and illustrator, Jessica Love, to explore the design of the book. According to Bagnall, “It’s a great jumping-off point, the book, in terms of the visuals. There’s so much vibrancy… and it’s been really exciting as well to explore the world. We’re able to expand it.”

Celebrating My Father’s Dragon in LA

My Father’s Dragon director Nora Twomey and art director Áine McGuinness took part in a celebration of Cartoon Saloon’s latest release ‘My Father’s Dragon’.

With the help of Abrams Publishing, Cartoon Saloon, Netflix Animation, and The Creative Talent Network, ‘My Father’s Dragon Day’ created an unforgettable experience of families and mid-journey creatives at the intimate CTN Studio in the animation capital of the world for a day of activities, book-signing, industry talks and networking.

There were kids activities in the morning followed by a book signing with Ramin Zahed, author of ‘The Art of My Father’s Dragon’, Nora and Áine.

In the afternoon, Nora and Áine held a presentation and networking event. Despite the LA weather, ‘My Father’s Dragon Day’ was a great success and images can be found at the CTN website: