Puffin Rock, the award winning children’s pre-school brand created by a local animation studio, is to be made into a movie.
The highly acclaimed brand is co-owned by Derry based Dog Ears, Cartoon Saloon and Penguin Books.
The Puffin Rock Movie will be produced across three locations including the Dog Ears studio in Derry, in Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny and by China Nebula Studio in Tianjin in China.
The film is due for release in the Spring of 2021.
The Puffin Rock Movie will be the first animated feature produced in the North and is co-funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Screen Ireland and China Nebula Group (CNB).
The movie sees the show’s hero Oona work with her friends to save their island and a precious little egg in an action-packed story which celebrates a magnificent natural environment, and features themes of belonging, courage and friendship.
The award winning pre-school TV series Puffin Rock has enjoyed international success and was nominated for an International Emmy, won two Kidscreen Awards and a Royal Television Award. Puffin Rock has been acquired by various international broadcasters, including a global deal with Netflix and CNB.
Fionnuala Deane, Managing Director of Dog Ears, said: “We’re delighted to announce the production of the Puffin Rock Movie and to welcome our new partners China Nebula Pictures on board. We’re very excited about the movie and have big hopes for it reaching family audiences across the globe.”
Axinear, CEO of China Nebula Group, said: “I am very honoured to participate in this wonderful family film together with the world’s leading 2D animation team. As a big fan of Puffin Rock myself, I can’t wait to meet the little puffin and her friends on the big screen as soon as possible.”
Paul Young, CEO of Cartoon Saloon, said the movie has “lots of laughs and thrills for younger viewers and for many we expect The Puffin Rock Movie will be their first cinema experience! “
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said: “We are thrilled that the Puffins are migrating to the big screen.”
He added that Northern Ireland Screen has long been enthusiastic supporters of Dog Ears and described the animation company as a hugely talented and highly driven team.
“It comes as no surprise that they are behind the first animated feature film to be made in Northern Ireland.”
James Hickey, CEO of Screen Ireland, said the continued international success and acclaim of Puffin Rock “highlights the range of creative talent across Irish storytelling and animation, both North and South.
“This move to the big screen will be a fantastic opportunity for children everywhere to engage with these already much-loved characters and stories.”