Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey on My Father’s Dragon

Nora Twomey tells us about the latest exquisitely crafted animation from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, the tale of a boy’s quest to rescue a captured dragon.

“Kilkenny-based studio Cartoon Saloon have, across four acclaimed Oscar-nominated traditionally-animated features, staked their claim for being the best in the world today.  The bright, storybook fable illustrations and maturely emotional storytelling found in The Secret of Kels (2009), Song of the Sea (2014), The Breadwinner (2017) and Wolfwalkers (2020) won the studio a devoted fanbase and critical acclaim.  But those raves aren’t the ones which film director and studio co-founder Nora Twomey most cares about.  ‘I’m really keen for children’s reactions.  When you don’t have children standing up all the way through or talking, that’s proof the story is connecting.’

Twomey is referring to her latest feature, My Father’s Dragon, which had made its public world premiere at the London Film Festival when I got on the phone with her.  An adaptation of Ruth Gannett’s classic children’s novel, the story follows Elmer (Jacob Tremblay), a young boy whose idyllic rural life his mother (Golshifteh Farahani) running a little convenience store gets upended by an economic downturn forcing them to move to the gloomy grey skies of Nevergreen.  In Nevergreen, the pair struggle to financially get by and Elmer’s mother finds it ever harder to keep up the façade that things will be ok.  After an argument with his mother, Elmer ends up on a quest to the magical but slowly-sinking Wild Island in order to rescue a captured dragon, Boris (Gaten Matazarro), with the promise of a special wish should he succeed.”

Full article exclusively on BFI (link).

Callie Petch needs to bite, sweet krokodil-dil-dil-dil.


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