Tomm Moore

Tomm Moore

Born in the Northern Irish town of Newry, Tomm Moore was the eldest of four children, including his sister and fellow comics writer Catherine. He was raised primarily in Kilkenny, where his father, Patrick, worked as an engineer. The presence of former Disney artist Don Bluth's studio in Dublin helped to spur Moore's interest in animation and film, as did his discovery of American comic books in the late 1980s. He soon found an initial outlet for his creative pursuits in the Young Irish Filmmakers organization, which provided him with his first access to animation equipment and software. Later, he and childhood friend Ross Stuart would study classic animation at at Ballyfermont College in Dublin, where he met fellow students Paul Young and Nora Twomey. With several other friends, the trio launched their own animation studio, the Cartoon Saloon, in Kilkenney during their final year of study in 1998. While completing his final year at school in 1998, he co-founded the Cartoon Saloon, an animation studio in Kilkenny. Three years later, the company would be tapped by Irish-language book publisher Cló Mhaigh Eo to provide art for a line of comics based on their native country's history and mythology. Moore's contribution was "An Scláhabí"("The Slave," 2001) and "An Teachtaire" ("The Messenger," 2003), which told the story of St. Patrick. He then served as animator for Cartoon Saloon's contribution to "The 3 Wise Men" (2003), a Spanish-produced animated feature based on the Biblical story. Cartoon Saloon soon delved into animation, producing, among other projects, the 2004 short with "Backwards Boy," which employed Moore as art director. As the company grew in stature through their award-winning animated series, "Skunk Fu!" *CBBC, 2007-2008), Moore and his collaborators began to develop their first animated feature. Initially conceived as a film for adult viewers, "The Secret of Kells" drew critical praise for its spectacular hand-drawn animation, which drew inspiration from a variety of sources, from centuries-old Gospel texts and traditional Irish art to animators Hayao Miyazaki and Michel Ocelot, and for its incorporation of Irish mythology and Christian tenets. Co-directed by Moore and Nora Twomey and co-produced by Didier Brunner, "The Secret of Kells" received numerous awards and nominations, including an Oscar nod for Best Animated Feature in 2010. More importantly, it established Moore and Cartoon Saloon as a world-class animation company. Three years later, Moore made his debut as a solo director with "Song of the Sea" (2014), which also drew from Irish myth for its story of a young boy who discovers that his silent, unusual sister is really an underwater creature known as a selkie. "Song of the Sea" made its debut at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival before opening in select European countries and North America in order to qualify for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, for which it was nominated in 2015. Moore also contributed to "The Prophet" (2014), an adaptation of the Kahlil Gibran book that was produced by actress Salma Hayek and supervised by "Lion King" (1994) co-director Roger Allers. Moore was among several international animators hired to create sequences based on Gibran's writings, including Bill Plympton, Paul and Gaëtan Brizzi and Mohammed Saeed Harib.