Cartoon Saloon BOOM

Cartoon Saloon BOOM
The Secret of Kells

Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea studio creates 140 new jobs

Kilkenny-based animation company Cartoon Saloon has announced a new deal with Canada’s Mercury Filmworks that will create over 140 jobs over the next three years.

The tie-up, to be called Lighthouse Studios, will make Ireland a ‘powerhouse’ of the animation industry according to the cofounder of Cartoon Saloon. The company, which has twice been nominated for Oscars for its films The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, beat competition from across Europe to land the deal.

Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor attended the announcement in Kilkenny and said Mercury Filmworks was attracted to the region because of its ‘worldwide reputation and because of the talent here’.

Cartoon Saloon BOOM
Song of the Sea

In the coming weeks, Lighthouse Studios plans to announce development and production projects, as well as a hiring initiative encompassing production management, designers, animators, effects artists, compositors, technical directors, 3D modelers, riggers, lighting and texture artists and IT administrators.

In making the announcement, Mercury Filmworks CEO Clint Eland, explained, “We have enormous respect for Cartoon Saloon and could not be happier to announce this collaboration. They are one of today’s most creative and well respected animation companies with goals, perspectives, and philosophies that complement our own.”

“All of us at Cartoon Saloon are delighted to be in partnership with Mercury, as we have long admired their work. And now, together, we plan to make Lighthouse Studios and Kilkenny a center of excellence for animation,” said Paul Young, Cartoon Saloon co-founder and CEO.

Cartoon Saloon BOOM
The Secret of Kells

“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 due to the quality of projects being produced here. 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.”

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