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'Puffin Rock and the New Friends' Gets Festival Screenings, April Digital Debut


2024 marks the 25th anniversary of Irish animation Studio Cartoon Saloon. The studio that brought us Song Of The Sea, Wolfwalkers and My Father's Dragon is marking the occasion by bringing their latest feature to North America for the first time. Puffin Rock and The New Friends was originally released in Ireland and the UK last year, and was the first big-screen spin-off of Cartoon Saloon's Puffin Rock TV series. The film is preparing to make its North American debut at the New York International Children's Film Festival as a special St Patrick's Day screening on March 17.

The screening will be accompanied by a filmmaker Q&A with director Jeremy Purcell. The screening is part of the festival's Science on Screen®: Habitat Chat. Attendees will be invited to explore Ireland's real-life Puffin Island, the inspiration behind Puffin Rock and discover the amazing habitats and biodiversity found there. The presentation will be by Purcell and the film's animation director Lorraine Lordan.

The film was a co-production between Cartoon Saloon and Northern Ireland studio Dog Ears. It marks the first animated feature produced in Northern Ireland.

The feature sees the return of favourite characters from the TV series Oona, Baba, May and Mossy, who are joined by a new cast of characters with the arrival of as Isabelle, Phoenix and Marvin on the island. When the last little egg of the season disappears in mysterious circumstances, it's up to Oona and her new friends to race against time and bring the egg home before a big storm hits Puffin Rock.

Following the New York screening the film will be also shown at several other festivals. It will be at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington D.C. from March 21-30, at the Annapolis Film Festival on April 5, at the River Run Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC on April 27. Other festivals are to be announced. Jeremy Purcell will be at the East Coast and West Coast screenings.

The film was awarded by the The National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) the 2024 Sustainability Award for its strong ecological message.


The exciting adventure begins in Puffin Rock, a charming gem off of the coast of Ireland. It’s a warm community and beautiful habitat for all creatures big and small. It makes for an especially calm respite in the storm of migration, and it’s where we find puffin Oona, who looks after her baby brother, Baba, shielding him from any possible dangers the gorgeous flora or fauna may pose. When Puffin Isabelle and her stepbrother Phoenix arrive on the Rock, Oona knows all the things to do and games to play to help fend off their homesickness. But there are still serious matters at hand. With their pals Flynne the Fox, May the Rabbit, and Mossy the hard-working Shrew on the job, everyone pitches in -- even when Isabelle makes a misstep and has a hard time coming clean.

Shout Studios will release the film on digital platforms from April 16. The film will be available to rent or buy from Google TV, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV, with additional distributors potentially to be added. Suggested prices are $2.99 to rent and $6.99 to buy (prices may vary in Canada).

Puffin Rock And The New Friends stars Chris O'Dowd, Amy Huberman, Beth McCafferty, Eva Whitaker, Jo McDaid, James Henry, Anna McDaid, Euan McGrath and Aaron MacGregor. The film is directed by Jeremy Purcell and produced by Paul Young, Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey and John McDaid. Puffin Rock was created by Tomm Moore, Paul Young and Lily Bernard and the screenplay was written by Sara Daddy.