Business World

Thursday 21 September 2017

Wiggleywoo and Fr Jack set out their stall at cartoon forum to impress broadcasting giants

TEA AND SYMPATHY: Irish animation firms are well placed to attract investors at Cartoon Forum which takes place in Toulouse
TEA AND SYMPATHY: Irish animation firms are well placed to attract investors at Cartoon Forum which takes place in Toulouse

Roisin Burke

Of 68 animation projects handpicked from hundreds to pitch to broadcasting giants including Disney, Nickelodeon, CBeebies and Dreamworks next month, 11 are Irish produced or co-produced.

Companies will present their projects to key decision makers at Cartoon Forum, where 250 buyers and investors have a combined €100m budget to spend. The event in Toulouse is one of the industry's most important funding opportunities.

One of them is Irish animation and ideas house Wiggleywoo, which has raised over €1m in funding and nabbed four major channel presales for a children's series called Mya Go, based around a little girl called Mya and her family. It attracted major attention from CBeebies and Nickelodeon at last year's event and has been picked to pitch again this year.

At this year's forum Wiggleywoo will present its new children's series, The Day Henry Met...? "We're also working on a The Day Henry Met..? ebook and we've had a lot of publisher interest," said company co-founder Susan Broe.

A Mya Go App and interactive website is launching this month. Set up just over a year ago, Wiggleywoo recently expanded into new offices on South William St in Dublin. It aims to make highly commercial animation that has Peppa Pig-type licensing and merchandising appeal and would hire up to 50 animators.

Other Irish companies pitching projects at Cartoon Forum include Jam Media, Kavaleer Productions, Avalon Films, A Man & Ink and Geronimo Productions.

The company is also making an animated series for adults called Tea with the Dead – Life, Death and a Packet of Digestives (pictured), funded with €267,000 by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and from Section 481, IFB and TG4. It's voiced by Frank Kelly, who played Fr Jack in Father Ted, and who also narrates Mya Go.

Sunday Independent

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