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Hailed animation studios Cartoon Saloon & Mercury Filmworks form new studio

02.06.2017

When people think of animation studios, it’s more than likely that the first ones to come to mind are organizations like Disney, Dreamworks, and Pixar. Which is totally understandable seeing as they’ve produced some of the most iconic animated films of the past twenty years. That being said, there are plenty of other groups who’re busy producing some of the most inspired animated features of modern times, but whose names aren’t exactly considered a household commodity. I’m talking about studios like LAIKA, Nelvana, Polygon, and others.

Today, one of my personal favorites, the Kilkenny, Ireland-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon, has announced that they’ll be partnering with Canada-based studio Mercury Filmworks in an effort to create a new 2D-focused enterprise. Together, both teams will work to develop children’s and family-style TV entertainment for multiple platforms on a global distribution scale under the name Lighthouse Studios.

When asked about the merge, Cartoon Saloon’s CEO Paul Young had this to say about the exciting opportunities the pairing presents:

Together, we plan to make Lighthouse Studios and Kilkenny a center of excellence for animation. Ireland enjoys a number of advantages when it comes to animation. The industry is supported by a growing number of educational programs and draws talent from all over Europe.... The Irish talent pool has been spilling over into other parts of Europe and North America for years and we look forward to welcoming a lot of that talent home.

Cartoon Saloon was also excited to share the logo for the new studio which you can check out below:

Once established, the newly-formed, collaborative venture will orchestrate its own management teams, board of directors and so on. Details about the hiring process and a list of potential projects marked for production are expected to hit as early as within the next few weeks. Along with their plans to develop quality entertainment for all ages, Lighthouse Studios is expected to create at least 140 jobs in the next three years for any and all talented creators looking to lend their skills and vision to the world of animation.

If you’re not at all familiar with the work of Cartoon Saloon, I highly recommend that you check out both of their most notable films, Tomm Moore’s THE SECRET LIFE OF KELLS and SONG OF THE SEA. Both of these animated features are visually spectacular, and each tell a poignant story that pulls inspiration from the intriguing narrative world of Irish folklore. Trust me, they’re not to be missed.

Cartoon Saloon’s next animated feature is a film called THE BREADWINNER. Directed by Nora Twoney, the movie featuring a headstrong young girl from Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy in an effort to provide for her family will be co-produced by Canada’s Aircraft Pictures, Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions and in association with Angelina Jolie’s Jolie Pas Productions studio. As of now, the film is set to be released by GKIDS some time in late 2017.

Extra Tidbit: Oh my, it looks as if Cartoon Saloon is in the process of developing a film called Wolfwalkers. Now that just sounds super cool, does it not?

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