Irish Animation Booming

Secret of Kells

Ireland’s animation industry is still relatively small, but according to this piece in the Irish Times, it is robust and growing. A few noteworthy facts and numbers from the article:

* Animation is the “star performer” of the Irish film and TV industry, and “the only independent audiovisual sector which predicts growth this year.”

* There are 337 people working full-time in the Irish animation industry making it “the largest provider of full-time employment in the Irish independent film and television sector.”

* The country doesn’t have a strong domestic market for animation (an approximate population of 4.5 million will do that) which means that for some studios, up to 90 percent of their business is export-based.

* The Irish Film Board provides around €1 million every year for animation projects.

UPDATE: Two pieces of Irish animation were nominated for Oscars a few hours after this post: The Secret of Kells for animated feature and Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty in the animated short category.


  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville Ariel

    Ever since i’ve visited their site a few years ago, I knew Cartoon Saloon had some talent there.

    Congrats on their oscar nomination aswell! Well deserved.

    *When the next flight to Kilkenny?

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    With the Oscar nomination, KELLS’ wide-release in March 2010 is sure to be just a little bit wider.

    Also, the NYICFF will be showing SECRET OF KELLS again this year, but with a director Q&A (Sat Feb 27 CANTOR FILM CENTER).

  • http://www.tinyinventions.com Max Porter

    This excellent short was also produced by Cartoon Saloon.
    “Old Fangs”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6sQTkt2xoU&feature=player_embedded

  • jerome

    Here’s to hope that the nomination of The Secret of Kells will make Disney (or Pixar or whoever) understand that you can make an animated film while keep it graphic…

  • http://fantazmigoriuh.wordpress.com Charles K.

    While it is an outstanding achievement for the Irish animation industry to have two film in the running for an Oscar, it is unfortunate that the Irish Times piece completely overlooked one or two studios that have focused on animation production, for example Boulder Media, who have had great success in recent years with such fantastic shows as Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and El Tigre and Telegael, who produced Tutenstein in association with Discovery Kids.

    I don’t mean to detract from the nominated film in any way, I just wanted to point out that Ireland has a strong animation production sector in addition to the creative one.

  • Mike Clark

    You’ve seen 337 Irish animators…and you’ve seen ‘em all.

  • Alfons Moline

    I´m happy for the Irish animators, though it´s a shame that they have no longer what one was Europe´s largest animation facility… I´m referring to, as you probably will have guessed, the Sullivan-Bluth studios. It´s truly a shame that nearly all films made there -with the exception of THE LAND BEFORE TIME- were box-office flops; otherwise Don Bluth would be still in Dublin making features, and giving work to hundreds of animation professionals.

    Nevertheless, Bluth can be proud that his Irish studios ‘started it all’ (before he set up shop there in the late 80´s, there was almost no animation being done in Ireland, except for some independent filmmaker like Aidan Hickney), thus paving the way for a true animation industry.

  • Mick

    STRAANDLOOPER are another Irish studio doing some great work who fail to be mentioned every time the subject of Irish animation crops up!! They created Lifeboat Luke and are working on some cool stuff right now includeing animatd iApps….. Worth mentioning.