“Sea” marks the sophomore feature of Moore, whose debut “The Secret of Kells” was nominated for an Oscar and released in North America by GKids.
Inspired by the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, the toon follows the adventures of Ben and his little sister Saoirse – the last Seal-child – who embark on a journey across a world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea.
“Sea” features the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny.
Bruno Coulais and Irish band Kíla, who collaborated on “The Secret of Kells,” composed the original score.
Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon produced with Luxembourg’s Melusine Prods., Belgium’s The Big Farm, Denmark’s Norlum and Gaul’s Superprod.
“I am delighted to be working again with Gkids after our successful partnership on ‘The Secret of Kells,'” said Moore. “The two companies are perfectly aligned in their vision for animated filmmaking and Gkids’ special focus and experience make them ideal partners to bring our next feature film to North American audiences.”
Eric Beckman, GKids founder and prexy, said, “Tomm brings an unprecedented level of artistry and passion to his filmmaking and he and the team at Cartoon Saloon have created something truly incredible with this film.”
“Sea” received the backing of The Irish Film Board, Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland, TG4, Section 481, Eurimages, Luxembourg Film Fund, Wallimages, Danish Film Institute, among other orgs. Westend Films handles international sales on the feature.
This year, GKids has “Ernest & Celestine,” directed by Benjamin Renner, Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, competing for an Oscar. The 2D Belgian animated feature boasts a voice cast by Forrest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey Wright.
The distributor previously scored Oscar nominations with other international director-driven fare: “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico & Rita” in 2012, as well as “The Secret of Kells” in 2010.
Besides its distribution biz, GKids also produces the March-set New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival, whose jury members include Uma Thurman, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Gus van Sant, Christine Vachon, Henry Selick and James Schamus.