19 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Chris O'Dowd & Amy Huberman board new Irish animated feature Puffin Rock And The New Friends
13 Feb 2023 : Nathan Griffin
Puffin Rock And The New Friends from Cartoon Saloon and Dog Ears.
Chris O’Dowd (My Father’s Dragon) and Amy Huberman (A Cat Called Jam) have signed on to lead the voice cast of Puffin Rock And The New Friends, a new Irish animated feature film from Oscar-nominated Kilkenny studio Cartoon Saloon and Northern Ireland’s Dog Ears.

The casting news is accompanied by the announcement that London-based WestEnd Films has boarded the animated film. WestEnd will launch sales at EFM and has revealed the first image. 

Currently in post-production, the film is based on the Emmy nominated TV series Puffin Rock and directed by Jeremy Purcell (Joe and Jack, Puffin Rock) with a script from Sarah Daddy, who was head writer on the original series. Other crew members include editor Sophie Borlée, assistant director Lorraine Lordan and art directors Fran Bravo and Stefano Scapolan. The score is composed by Eberg.

The film is billed as an “action-packed story that celebrates our magnificent natural environment and features themes of belonging, courage, and friendship,” and follows favourites from the animated series, including Oona, Baba, May, and Mossy, who are joined by a new cast of characters as Isabelle, Phoenix, and Marvin arrive on the island. The story starts as 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.

Puffin Rock And The New Friends marks the first animated feature to be produced by Northern Ireland and is co-funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Ireland, RTÉ, and BBC Alba.

The film is produced by Oscar nominees Paul Young, Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey from Cartoon Saloon and John McDaid and Fionnuala Deane from Dog Ears. Chris O’Dowd leads the English-language voice cast with Amy Huberman, Beth McCafferty, and Eva Whittaker.

The original series was nominated for an International Emmy, and picked up two Kidscreen Awards and a Royal Television Award. It was acquired by various international broadcasters, including a global deal with Netflix and a Chinese acquisition by China Nebula Group (CNB), where it was broadcast on TenCent.

Wildcard Distribution will be releasing the title theatrically in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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