Comedian to draw red carpet attention in free frock

COMEDIAN Kathleen O’Rourke, the voice of Granny O’Grimm, is looking for a free frock to wear at next month’s Oscar Award night in Hollywood.

“Granny O’Grimm would be extremely disappointed that things have worked out so well but Brown Bag Films is delighted,” said Ms O’Rourke yesterday.

Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty made the top five best animated short films of the year, the winner of which will be announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 7 next.

Granny O’Grimm is a bitter old lady who terrifies her little granddaughter at bedtime with her dark version of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale.

The character was developed by Ms O’Rourke who also penned the script for the six-minute animation which received funding from the Irish Film Board, RTÉ and the Arts Council.

The Dublin-based film company also produced the Irish Examiner’s television advertisements for its rugby, soccer and GAA coverage.

Asked by RTÉ’s Joe Duffy what she intended wearing on the big night, a delighted Ms O’Rourke replied: “Something that I get for free. That’s the plan.”

Ms O’Rourke also joked she was looking forward to being offered lovely gowns from some of the country’s best fashion houses.

Another Irish-made film, The Door, is up for the best live action short film, while The Secret of Kells from Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon, has been nominated for best animated feature, with Mick Lally voicing the character of Brother Aiden, a celebrated master illuminator.

“It is a great piece of news,” said Mr Lally, who pointed out that it was the first nomination he had ever received as an actor.

“I must be getting the holy touch,” said Mr Lally, who played Miley in RTÉ’s hit production Glenroe.

The Secret of Kells was co-produced in Belgium and France, but the creative blueprints, key animation and backgrounds, storyboard, voice recording and design were carried out in Ireland. “A brilliant bunch of youngsters got a mad idea and went for it,” said Mr Lally.

Paul Young, a partner with Cartoon Saloon and producer of the Secret of Kells, said the film cost around €6m to produce.

Mr Young said the Oscar nomination was a great launching pad for the film in the United States where it was due to go on general release next month

Ms Young said The Secret of Kells was an idea that director Tom Moore had since he was a teenager.

“It is fantasy mixed with a bit of history as well,” he said.

He said actor Brendan Gleeson, the voice of Abbot Cellach and Mr Lally were exactly the people they wanted.

Mr Moore said he studied animation in Ballyfermot Senior College in Dublin where many of the teachers were trained by Don Bluth, American animator and independent studio owner, who formed an alliance with the college before the studio closed in the mid-1990s.


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