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Irish creative animation studios growing in global popularity

The fast-growing digital entertainment, animation and creative industry in Ireland has long been a cornerstone of a vibrant business sector.

It’s often said that Ireland is a nation of storytellers. As digital technology has advanced in recent years, Irish animators have become adept at creating unique IP for TV, film, games, mobile and VR/AR applications. A highly professional and coordinated industry collaborates at home and abroad to produce content that is highly marketable to international audiences while losing none of its unique magic.

Irish history in animation

Ireland’s rich heritage in animation has developed a global reputation for combining storytelling, visual artistry and digital innovation to produce award-winning entertainment for the world’s biggest networks. With a strong focus on R&D, innovation, upskilling and new talent development – much of which is supported by Enterprise Ireland – Irish visual entertainment is set to continue enchanting international audiences for decades to come.

Just ten years ago, there were only 70 Irish people working in animation and related fields. In a mere decade, that number has grown to over 2,000 in full-time employment in the same industries. Many of these creatives need no introduction, thanks to the plethora of Academy Awards, BAFTAs, and international recognition their work has received.

“The creativity of Irish companies sets them apart, and storytelling is in everything they do,” said Hannah Dobson, VP, Entertainment and Media, Enterprise Ireland. “They’ve come to the North American market with a proven track record, they’re steeped in the arts, and they have the dynamism and ambition to succeed.”

A few Irish production and animation studios of note include:

Giant Animation is an independent animation studio focused on the development and production of exciting new ideas for television, feature film, games and everything in-between. The company prides itself on strong visual storytelling, using a diverse range of styles to bring their ideas to life.

Piranha Bar boasts a diverse family of in-house talent including directors, animators, VFX, motion designers, artists, and award-winning editors. The unique hybrid production company creates highly visual short and long-form content. Piranha Bar is actively developing original content with production partners around the world.

Gorilla Post is an Emmy-nominated post-production facility in Dublin, Ireland that manages clients’ entire post-production requirements, including edit, grade, VF, audio post and finishing. Founded in 2009, the company has grown rapidly. Managing Director, Barry Reid, was nominated for an Emmy Award for his “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for an Animated Preschool Program” on Amazon Prime’s Pete The Cat series.

Moetion Films is an award-winning animation company based in Galway, Ireland. The company develops and produces high-end animation for cinema and TV. Owner/Producer Moe Honan has an excellent record co-producing feature films such as the award-winning Niko And the Way to The Stars (Flight Before Christmas), Niko 2 Little Brother Big Trouble (The Magic Reindeer), Thor – Legends of Valhalla and The Ugly Duckling and Me.

“The animation industry in Ireland has been a long cornerstone of our vibrant entertainment industry,” added Dobson. “It has seen significant growth in the last decade, and it’s now an integral part of our digital creative economy.”

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