was successfully added to your cart.




The Breadwinner: How Fairy Tales are used to Cope in a World of Oppression and War.

By | Animation, Drama | No Comments
Originally written on June 6 2018:


Ever since I had first viewed Tom Moore’s Song of the Sea back in 2015, our local, Kilkenny-based animation studio, Cartoon Saloon had filled me with both a personal sense of pride for Ireland’s steadily growing animation scene as well as a general wonder and awe for international animated cinema as a whole, given the studio’s multiple nominations at the academy awards. The fact that the studio doesn’t conform to Disney’s contemporary 3D model of animation like the grand majority of Hollywood animation studios nowadays gives me a newfound optimism that 2D animation in contemporary cinema hasn’t been completely supplanted. However, as much as the studio’s previous productions under Tom Moore, The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014) have held a firm place in my heart, they mostly came across as straightforward but loving tributes to Hayao Miyazaki’s style of mythology-themed, visual-driven animation, but didn’t provide a particularly deep narrative vision outside of that. All that being said, however, their 2017 production, and solo debut under Nora Twomey, The Breadwinner had exceeded my expectations tremendously, as it confronts, with brutal honesty, surprisingly mature and very real cultural issues that its more accessible predecessors would, at times, touch upon, but not explore too in-depth.

Read More

A Silent Voice: A Touching Pursuit of Reconciliation and Self-Love.

By | Animation, Anime, Drama | No Comments

When it comes to addressing delicate and uncomfortable subject matter such as bullying, depression, or suicide within a fictional narrative, a writer must take great care in considering the various nuances and complexities that these issues entail in providing an honest and meaningful discussion surrounding them. Some narratives that tackle these issues can, unfortunately, fall into the trap of oversimplifying them and end up coming across as contrived, disingenuous, and even problematic as a result. A Silent Voice (2016) is not one of those narratives. This 130-minute long anime movie delivers a hard-hitting, poignant yet mindful assessment of the pervasiveness of bullying and the many forms it can take, the struggles and anxieties that people with disabilities face in connecting and communicating with others, and ultimately, the journey towards self-forgiveness and self-discovery. It is a stunningly beautiful and heartfelt piece of animation that speaks volumes of the potential of anime as an artistic medium to critically evaluate sensitive topics with the level of sincerity and nuance that they deserve.

Read More

Coco: An Animated Pixar Gem paying tribute to Día de Muertos.

By | Adventure, Animation | No Comments

When I’d first discovered that the roster for Best Animation at the 2018 Oscars had included some rather sub-par Hollywood-based productions such as Dreamworks’ Boss Baby and Blue Sky’s Ferdinand that were competing alongside some visually innovative and even ground-breaking international releases such as the spectacular UK-produced Loving Vincent, along with Cartoon Saloon’s 2017 production: The Breadwinner, I was somewhat disillusioned.
Read More