Ireland's Top Animators head to White House for St. Patrick's Day Celebration

DUBLIN, Ireland and WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2011— The directors from two of Ireland’s top animation companies, Nicky Phelan of Brown Bag Films and Tomm Moore of  Cartoon Saloon, are tonight heading to the White House for a St. Patrick’s Day reception hosted by President and Mrs. Obama.

Both companies are Enterprise Ireland clients and represent the best of Irish creativity and animation innovation.  Each has charted substantial sales successes and captured numerous awards for their productions in the US market and internationally in the past year.

Brown Bag Films—a 2010 Academy Award nominee— recently established an office in Los Angeles to support its growth in the US.  The company recently snagged a major deal with Disney US and is currently in production on “Doc McStuffins”, a 52 x 11-minute 3D animated series featuring a young girl who treats the neighborhood’s ill and injured toys in her backyard surgery.  The show will premiere on the new Disney Junior block later this year. 

Brown Bag Films’ most recent production, “The Octonauts”, will premiere in the US next year on the Disney channel. It is already the number one pre-school show on the BBC (UK) and ABC (Australia) since it debuted six months ago.   

In a tribute to the company’s success and international recognition, Brown Bag Films’ creative chief, Darragh O’Connell recently joined the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences. 

Cartoon Saloon has scored similar successes.  Its first feature film, “The Secret of Kells” captured more than a dozen international accolades and awards, including the biggest one of all, a 2010 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.  It shattered box office records at the IFC cinema in New York when it was released there.  Among the many projects underway at Cartoon Saloon are a new pilot for Disney, and a new feature film with Le Pacte in France and Schesch Film Germany based on Tomi Ungerer's popular Children's Book "Moon Man".

The successes enjoyed by Brown Bag Films and Cartoon Saloon are part of what’s driving rapid growth for the Irish animation sector.  Today, hundreds of Irish individuals are employed in this multi-million dollar industry.

Chairman of Enterprise Ireland Hugh Cooney, who is in the US this week, noted:

“Ireland is widely regarded as a world leader in the animation field with Irish companies earning international acclaim for sophisticated and leading-edge 2D and 3D animation creations for cinema screens, television, web, mobile and games consoles.  Furthermore, Irish companies like Brown Bag Films, Cartoon Saloon and many more are providing top-end animation services for the entertainment media sector worldwide, as well as creating high-value IP for the international market. We’re proud of their successes and delighted to see a vibrant export market for their creativity and ingenuity.”

For more information on Brown Bag Films, please visit
For more information on Cartoon Saloon, please visit