Emerald City Productions, an Animation Studio in Dún Laoghaire, 1985-1991

News Type 
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Intro Text 

In the late 1980s, American company Emerald City Productions was set up from scratch in Dún Laoghaire, adjacent to the DART station and under what was then Restaurant na Mara, now Hartley’s. Funded by a grant from the IDA, with the intention of creating jobs during a period of high unemployment, Ireland saw a number of animation studios springing up in Ireland. In 1985 Emerald City Productions was established in Dún Laoghaire and in 1986 Sullivan Bluth set up opposite Phoenix Park on Park Gate Street. In 1989 Murakami Wolf was established in Montague Street in Dublin City.

Canadian Directors Al Guest and Jean Mathieson created a fully-serviced animation facility, recruiting fifty people from all walks of life in Dún Laoghaire. In five years, ten 50-minute feature-length television films based on classic books were produced. This exhibition tells the story of Emerald City Productions, bringing us back to the early days of animation activity in Ireland, right here in Dún Laoghaire. Find out how they made 2D animated film for television and find out where the crew of Emerald City Productions are now, over 30 years later.

This fascinating exhibition about The Wizards of Animation at Emerald City Productions was curated by Nicola Sedgwick who was one of the original animators in Dún Laoghaire in the 1980s, and it will continue on Level 3, dlr LexIcon, Moran Park, Dún Laoghaire until 30 May 2019. It includes a 15 minute film hosted by Dave Fanning from Visual Eyes (RTÉ, 1987).

On Saturday 13 April at 11.30am, animator Barry Holian, one of the Emerald City Productions animation team will give a workshop/talk for adults who are interested in animation. Booking via dlrlexiconlib@dlrcoco.ie Minimum age 16+. This event is free and it takes place in Room 1, Level 3.