24/09/2012 by David Maybury · No Comments
Ireland is seeing a well documented success in animation... and it's not something altogether new round these parts. Ireland has been a busy animation hub, the current success owing a lot to the encouragement, training and investment made in the eighties and early nineties. We caught up with one of the Murakami Wolf Studio directors, Gary Blatchford, to talk about how the Turtles came to visit Ireland:
In 1989 the Murakami Wolf Studio was set up in 1989 to work on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and James Bond Junior animated series, joining the Sullivan Bluth and Emerald City studios already based in Dublin.
In series 7 (1997/98) of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles headed to Ireland. By this time the Dublin studio was busy working on the Zorro series so the Irish Turtles episode was directed and designed by the team in the Wolf Studios in Burbank, California. The episode was directed by Bill Wolf, who had visited the Dublin studio several times over the years it was open and spent a long period with the team when they were beginning designs on Zorro. In a bizarre switch around - the guys in Dublin were working on the Zorro early 19th century California design while the Californians were working on designing Dublin locations.
By the time the seventh series of TMNT came around Ireland was an easy cultural sell - with Riverdance taking Broadway by storm and Ireland being recognised as an “exotic” location.