A Galway-based company is making Ireland's first ever stop-motion feature film

Morten is being produced by Telegael and will include stars such as Brendan Gleeson.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

IRELAND’S FIRST EVER stop-motion feature film, featuring actors such as Harry Potter star Brendan Gleeson, is set to go into production next week.

Morten on the Ship of Fools will be produced by Galway-based studio Telegael, one of the largest animation companies in Ireland.

It tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who dreams of being a captain. After a chance meeting with an inept magician, Morten finds himself shrunken down and aboard the deck of his own sailing ship. When his ship is caught in a storm he must take back control of the vessel, which is commanded by an insect crew.

The film is set to feature an all-star cast including Brendan Gleeson, whose recent credits include critically acclaimed Irish films Cavalry and Song of the Sea, Father Ted star Pauline McLynn and a host of well-known comedians including Tommy Tiernan, Mario Rosenstock and Jason Byrne.

The film, which Telegael said will be the first stop-motion feature to ever be produced in Ireland, is expected to be completed in late 2017.

Other productions

The short is a co-production between Telegael, Estonian studio Nukufilm and Belgian firm Grid-VFX, in association with Calon of Wales. Production comes after Telegael established Ireland’s only stop-motion studio in Connemara, Galway, in 2013.

The Telegael group, which has co-produced animated and live action series with companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon, currently employs over 100 people on a range of film and television productions.

The firm has co-produced more than 800 hours of television programming. Its projects have been distributed to over 150 countries and translated into more than 40 languages.

Telegael’s other recent productions include Norm of the North and the well-received Blinky Bill, which is set to be released in countries such as the US and Canada after it debuted in Australia and New Zealand.

blinky bill A still from Blinky Bill
Source: Youtube


Telegael said that the project attracted “significant interest from European and US distributors” at Cartoon Movie 2016 in Lyon – a major forum devoted to professionals of the animation film sector.

The company’s chief executive Paul Cummins said that the studio is “delighted to commence production on Morten”.

“In recent years, Ireland’s indigenous animation industry has gone from strength to strength with Irish studios gaining unprecedented international recognition both commercially and creatively,” he said.

“We are pleased that the establishment of Telegael’s special purpose stop-motion studio in the Connemara Gaeltacht has added another dimension to Ireland’s burgeoning animation industry.”