Animation Ireland, the representative body for the Irish animation industry, today launched its Pre-Budget Submission, a document of five key recommendations intended to garner government support and funds for the fast-growing animation industry in the country. The Irish animation industry has acquired wide ranging international attention since Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells (Cartoon Saloon, 2009) earned an Oscar nomination. Since then, studios such as Cartoon Saloon, Brown Bag, and Boulder Media have come to be worth around 100 million euros for the Irish economy.
Said Animation Ireland in a press release:
The animation industry in Ireland has experienced strong growth over the last number of years, reflecting both the quality of the content being produced and the creativity and dedication of animators in Ireland. There are between 1,500-2,000 highly-skilled professionals employed in the sector currently, creating award-winning content viewed in over 120 countries worldwide.
The requests made by Animation Ireland include:
-Support for the education sector and international hires to bolster the number of available animators.
-Changing the terms of the Irish Film Board to allow support for animated film.
-Greater support for children’s programming from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
-Increased support for technological innovations related to animation.
Many of the current leaders in Irish animation came out of the Sullivan-Bluth animation school of the early ‘90s, when Don Bluth (Anastasia, All Dogs Go to Heaven, An American Tail) moved production of his features to Ireland. Full disclosure, I was in Ireland a few years back to intern for Cartoon Saloon, and when I told my cab driver where I was headed they asked if I was attending the Sullivan-Bluth school, even though it had long been disbanded. This speaks to both the surprising influence animation has had on Irish culture and the clear need for more significant schools to train animators.