Ar Teilifis: Irish animated children’s TV series Puffin Rock launches on RTÉjr

Puffin Rock, the animated pre-school series narrated by Chris O’Dowd, will launch on RTÉjr on Monday 12 January at 8:10am and 1:10pm, airing daily on the channel. The episodes will also be available to view on the RTÉjr app and the RTÉjr website.

Puffin Rock follows a family of lovable puffins living on a wild and beautiful Irish island. Young puffling, Oona, and her little brother, Baba, explore the island with their friends, and their stories are filled with laughter and adventure. Puffin Rock has a gently educational tone, appealing to 2-6 year olds and their parents. As narrator, Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Moone Boy, The IT Crowd) adds an extra twinkle of comedy by mixing amusing observations with interesting facts about the wildlife on the island.

The co-producers of Puffin Rock – Oscar-nominated Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, global publisher Penguin, and Derry-based children’s media company, Dog Ears – have also announced that a second series of Puffin Rock has been confirmed. Production has already commenced on the new series of 39 x 7-minute episodes, which will be animated in Derry and Kilkenny.

Puffin Rock receives funding support of Northern Ireland Screen and Irish Film Board.

Speaking on the news Pauline Macnamara, RTÉ Executive Producer said: [quote]Puffin Rock is a gorgeous addition to the RTÉjr schedule and will delight our under 7s audience. We’re particularly pleased to be bringing stories of Irish coastal wildlife to young Irish children through the world of Oona and Baba and friends. It’s a rich and magical series which will capture the imaginations of children everywhere.[/quote]

Fionnuala Deane, Managing Director, Dog Ears Ltd said: [quote]After a year of animation production with our co-producers Cartoon Saloon and Penguin, we are incredibly proud and excited to see Puffin Rock on TV for the first time. The fact that we have been able to start production on a second series, immediately on completion of series one, is testimony to the quality of the characters, storytelling and the creative team behind the show. We hope that the RTÉjr audience will enjoy Puffin Rock as much as we have enjoyed producing the show.[/quote]

Paul Young, CEO, Cartoon Saloon said: [quote]I can hardly wait to see our Puffins on TV for Irish children, with their lovely Derry accents joined by the ever-dulcet tones of Chris O’Dowd. Sheila DeCourcy and Pauline Macnamara deserve a big thank you for their support in getting Puffin Rock to Irish screens along with Irish Film Board for their support right through Development and Production.[/quote]

Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House Children’s said: [quote]As the leading children’s publisher, we’re on the lookout, always, for new ways of telling stories. Puffin Rock is wonderful storytelling and we are thrilled to see it on TV for the first time, entertaining the children we’ve had in our heads since the first day of our strong partnership with Dog Ears and Cartoon Saloon.[/quote]

Tim Patterson, VP, Director of Programming, Nickelodeon UK & Ireland said: [quote]Puffin Rock really is something special and I am looking forward to the series joining the Nick Jr. schedule later this year. Cartoon Saloon and Dog Ears should be proud of the beautiful and charming series that they have produced.[/quote]

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen: [quote]We are excited to see the first series of this charming series broadcast and delighted to know a second has been commissioned. Northern Ireland Screen has been an enthusiastic supporter of Dog Ears since its inception in 2010; they are a talented and highly driven team working with ease alongside major global names in children’s programming. We look forward to playing our part in their continued development and helping grow the animation sector in Northern Ireland.[/quote]

James Hickey, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board Chief Executive: [quote]We are delighted to have provided both development and production support for Puffin Rock which is a quintessentially Irish production featuring the work of Irish creative talent and Irish culture. The IFB is the largest funder of the Irish animation industry in the state and as a result of this investment, Irish children for generations to come will also have the opportunity to see Irish animated stories on film and television.[quote]