Captain Morten and the Spider Queen, the first stop-motion animated film made in Ireland will make its Irish premiere at the forthcoming Galway Film Fleadh on July 15th. It’s a homecoming for the film as it was co-produced by Telegael in Spidéal, County Galway.
Captain Morten and the Spider Queen tells the story of a dreamy, 10-year-old boy who whiles away his days fantasizing about captaining his own ship and trying to avoid the ire of his devious and reluctant guardian: Mean Spinster Anna (Pauline McLynn). Morten’s fantasizing goes some small way to distracting him from missing his father Captain Viks (Brendan Gleeson), who is away at sea. Morten aspires to be a captain some day, just like his dad. After a chance meeting with the mysterious and inept magician Senór Cucaracha (Tommy Tiernan), Morten finds himself shrunken down and aboard the deck of his very own toy sailing ship. But Morten has company in the form of an eerily familiar insect crew led by an evil Spider-Queen. With the help of a beautiful butterfly-friend Eliza, Morten must take back control of his ship which is caught up in a threatening storm.
Others in the all-star Irish cast include Ciarán Hinds, Jason Byrne, Mario Rosenstock, Michael McElhatton and Neil Delamere. The film introduces young Irish talents Cian O’Dowd and Susie Power as Morten and his friend Elisabeth.
With a budget of €10 million the film has been six years in the making. It is the first film to be animated in stop-motion in Ireland and the most expensive film to be made by an Estonian film producer.
The film is the brainchild of Kaspar Jancis, winner of the Cartoon D’Or for his short film Krokodil. Jancis is a writer, musician and animator and this is his first feature film. To put himself in the right frame of mind he roughed out the storyboard on a boat from Rotterdam to the Antarctic. He disembarked at Tristan da Cunha by which time he had finished the storyboard.
We are delighted that ‘Captain Morten and the Spider Queen’ will be the first stop motion animated feature produced in Ireland. It is a terrific story played out with amazing characters and stunning visuals and features an all Irish cast. The film is bursting with fun and adventure with some comedy thrown in as well. We are looking forward to seeing Captain Morten and his crew inspire, entertain and engage audiences around the world.
Paul Cummins, CEO – Telegael
It’s quirky and original, but at the same time it’s most definitely a family film. It’s a rites of passage film with some fantasy twists and imaginative visual elements. It’s moving, it’s adventurous and at times it’s very funny.
Robin Lyons, Producer – Calon
Captain Morten and the Spider Queen was co-produced with Nukufilm in Estonia, Grid in Belgium and Calon in Wales, and recently screened at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the Zagreb World Festival of Animated Film in June. It will be released in French cinemas in the Autumn by Septième Factory.
Captain Morten premieres at the Galway Film Fleadh on July 15th at 4pm. Tickets are on-sale now.