Interview with Tomm Moore from Cartoon Saloon

From award-winning shorts to feature-length films and tv series, Cartoon Saloon has created a special place for viewers in the animation industry.

With movies like The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, this studio has garnered international fame and success.

Tomm Moore, Co-Founder of Cartoon Saloon answered a few of my questions regarding how the studio functions and what to expect in the near future. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself?  What is your story?

I’m Tomm Moore co-founder of Cartoon Saloon an Animation studio in Kilkenny Ireland.

I am a director and producer at Cartoon Saloon and I like to storyboard, animate and design characters.

I am a committed Vegan , animal rights activist , a grandfather and a husband too. I like to do as much life drawing as I can.

I am influenced by so many artists from the Vienna Painters such as Gustav Klimt to Art Nouveau to Japanese and Eastern European animation.

Tell us about the animation studio, Cartoon Saloon?

Cartoon saloon was founded 20 years ago by myself , Paul Young and Nora Twomey. We focus on hand drawn animation for films , tv and everything and anything else that inspires us. We have a great team of more than 150 people working with us in Kilkenny.

How does your team operate?

We have a very organised type of chaos! We have great producers and managers but also try to allow for the organic and free flowing nature of creativity to not be ignored .

What do you look for in an artist?

Drawing skills , personality that enjoys being part of a team , and whatever specific speciality the role requires – sfx , character , bg etc will be assessed based on portfolio.

What stories or themes influence Cartoon Saloon?

I think Cartoon Saloon has as broad a range of influences as we have people – with  stories coming from books , cartoon strips , and themes ranging from human rights issues to silly fun comedy stuff  but for my part I have focused on folklore and mythology and themes of humanity’s influence on nature and the environment as well as themes of childhood , parenting , friendship and mentorship .

What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on a short film for Greenpeace about the connection between industrial meat production and the destruction of the Amazon rainforests. The studio is currently busy with two feature films and several series projects.

Can you tell us about the upcoming film, Wolfwalkers?

Sure – it’s very much a follow up to our previous films that I directed or co director such as The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.  Ross Stewart’ and I co direct this story of magic, wolves and transformation and it’s just about ready for release! It has a great cast and music by Kíla and Bruno Coulais and is certainly the most sophisticated animation and art direction I have been involved in so far. I think the story has a lot of modern parallels but it’s set in 1650 in my hometown of Kilkenny.

PHOTO CREDIT: Cartoon Saloon

How long did it take to animate the movie?

Almost 3 years of full production but 3 years prior to that of design and writing and storyboarding.

What inspired the team to create this story?

We wanted to talk about the extermination of certain species, to explore the way older folktales connected us to nature in a way that modern civilisation doesn’t and we wanted to show how friendship can transform our world view .

With movies being streamed more online, should we expect to see more movies from your studio to be Netflix or other streaming services?

Yes but not exclusively we still love cinema releases too!

Fun Question: With Cartoon Saloon having folklore themes in their movies. What is your favorite magical or mythological animal or creature?

That’s a tough one ! I guess I am currently fascinated by the transformation myths of Native American cultures and the trickster Raven .


3 thoughts on “Interview with Tomm Moore from Cartoon Saloon

  1. Good on you for interviewing Tomm Moore! I’ve enjoyed a lot of Cartoon Saloon’s movies. It’s awesome how they’re putting Ireland on the map when it comes to animation.

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