Brown Bag Films

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Brown Bag Films
  • 1994 (1994) as Brown Bag Films
  • Cathal Gaffney
  • Darragh O'Connell
  • [1]
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Key people
  • Cathal Gaffney (Founder/CEO)
  • Darragh O'Connell (Founder/Creative Director)
  • Gillian Higgins Head of TV Production
  • Jennie Stacey Development Producer
Owner Independent (1994-2015)
9 Story Media Group (2015-present)

Brown Bag Films, or Brown Bag, is an Irish computer animation studio, based in Dublin, Ireland with a 2D facility based in Manchester, UK. Best known for its character CGI-animated television series' and short films, including the Oscar nominated Give Up Yer Aul Sins and Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty.[2] Brown Bag Films was established in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell and garnered a number of awards, including nominations for Academy Awards (Best Animated Short Film 2001 for Give Up Yer Aul Sins and 2010 for Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty), four Emmy Award wins in Outstanding Individual Achievement for Peter Rabbit and a host of BAFTA, Emmy and Annie nominations for their shows Bing, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster.[2]

Brown Bag Films produce high-profile international TV series, including Acamar Films and Tandem Films co-production Bing for CBeebies, Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster, Silvergate Media's Octonauts for CBeebies and Emmy Award winning Peter Rabbit for Nickelodeon, Chorion's Olivia for Nickelodeon US, Wobbly Land for Hit Entertainment/Nickelodeon UK, the animated teenage soap Crap Rap for RTÉ and the remake of Enid Blyton's Noddy in Toyland for Chorion/FIVE UK.

Current productions include new seasons of BAFTA and Emmy-nominated series Octonauts for BBC, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster for Disney US, Peter Rabbit for Nickelodeon US and BBC. Brown Bag Films have a slate of original children's and family feature projects in development and are also engaged in international co-productions.[3]

Give Up Yer Aul Sins was nominated for Best Animated Short Film in the 2001 Oscars.[4] The short film Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, directed by Nicky Phelan and produced by Darragh O'Connell, was also nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2009.[5]


Brown Bag Films was established in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell, who set up the company on a shoestring budget and produced their first series 'Peig' for RTÉ using hand-painted acetate cels shot on 35mm film.

In 1995, Brown Bag Films moved to the first floor of an old Georgian house off Gardiner Street. Where they produced a few commercials and illustrations.

In 1996, Brown Bag Films produced service animation for ITV series Wolves, Witches & Giants.

In 1997, with a staff of 7, Brown Bag Films moved to a new premises in Dublin city centre and established Ireland's first digital ink-and-paint workstation. They work on the Warner Bros feature film The King & I, coordinating European animation with LA via the internet (a 56K modem!). Barstool and Taxi are produced for RTÉ and they begin to grow their commercials service.

In 1998, Brown Bag Films produce the series 'Why?' for RTÉ which sold in over 100 countries worldwide.

In 1999, Brown Bag Films release their short film The Last Elk, directed by Alan Shannon. The film goes on to win numerous international awards.

In 2002, Brown Bag Films was nominated for its first Oscar, Give Up Yer Aul Sins, directed by Gaffney and produced by O'Connell and the company grew to a staff of 22.

In July 2007, Brown Bag Films moved to a new studio in Smithfield Square, Dublin, designed by Douglas Wallace Architects, and began production on their first animation series, Olivia, for Nick US. In the same year development began on Noddy in Toyland.

In 2008, the studio began working on Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, directed by Nicky Phelan, landing a second Oscar nomination.

In 2009, Brown Bag Films delivered 20 hours of animation to international broadcasters and was awarded European Producer of the Year at Cartoon Tributes, Norway. The studio has grown to more than 160 people and is equipped with a high-definition picture and 5:1 audio post production facility.

In July 2010, the company established an office in Los Angeles to produce animated feature films. In March 2012, Doc McStuffins premiered on Disney Junior, breaking rating records for the most watched preschool première ever.

In 2011, they premièred Darragh O'Connell's short film, "23 Degrees, 5 Minutes", voiced by John Hurt. They began production on Doc McStuffins – the first show commissioned by newly rebranded Disney Junior US. The Octonauts was nominated for a Bafta. Brown Bag Films began production on their own original series, Henry Hugglemonster, based on a book by Niamh Sharkey, for Disney Junior US.

In March 2012, Doc McStuffins premieres on Disney Junior and breaks rating records for the most watched pre-school première ever. It immediately becomes the No 1 pre-school show in the U.S.A. Brown Bag Films continue production on Henry Hugglemonster and a second season of the Octonauts, and are joined by a very special new staff member - Toby the Studio Dog!

In 2013, Brown Bag Films begin production on their short film ANYA, made to raise awareness for the charity To Russia With Love. The Octonauts and Doc McStuffins are nominated for Baftas. They begin production on a second season of Henry Hugglemonster and Doc McStuffins. Brown Bag Films recruit 30 new staff and expand the studio into a third premises.

In February 2014, Brown Bag Films announce their new show Bing, based on the book series by author and illustrator Ted Dewan. They continue production on a second season of Henry Hugglemonster and Peter Rabbit, a third season of Doc McStuffins and a fourth season of the Octonauts. Brown bag Films launch Brown Bag Labs, an online space for behind-the-scenes fun and tutorials from the studio. Octonauts brings home an IFTA for Best Children's Programme. They celebrate their 20th Anniversary! Brown Bag Films short film Anya is released online to raise funds for To Russia With Love charity. They announce the opening of their 2D studio in Manchester. Their short film An Ode To Love is awarded Best Irish Animation at Foyle Film Festival. They release the Christmas Special episode of their new online series Trouble In Paradise.

Brown Bag Films currently have three network series in production, Henry Hugglemonster, Doc McStuffins, and Bing, with more than 160 people working in the studio. In January 2015, their pilot episode of The Stinky and Dirty Show, based on the 'I Stink!' book series by Jim and Kate McMullan, debuted on Amazon Prime and is later greenlit for a full season. Bing is awarded for Best Writing in a Children’s TV Episode by The Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Doc McStuffins is awarded for Outstanding Children's Program at the 46th NAACP Image Awards and receives a Peabody award at the 74th Annual Peabody Awards.

In August 2015, Brown Bag Films was acquired by 9 Story Media Group.[6]


In the 2014 Emmy Awards, Brown Bag Films bagged three daytime Emmys and scored another five nominations, earning the most nominations for an animated show this year. All nominees were for the series Peter Rabbit.[7]

The 42nd Daytime Emmy Nominations announced on March 31, 2015 and Brown Bag Films received nominations for both Peter Rabbit and Doc McStuffins. The Outstanding Individual Achievement Award in Animation has been awarded to Storyboard Artist Mårten Jönmark for Peter Rabbit for the second year in a row. Two further nominations have been received for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program for Peter Rabbit and Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program for Doc McStuffins.

Brown Bag Films' series Peter Rabbit has garnered 2 Parents Gold Choice Awards.

Creator and Executive Producer Chris Nee accepts the Peabody for "Doc McStuffins" along with Darragh O'Connell, Norton Virgien, Theresa Mayer, Chelsea Beyl, Kent Redeker, Kerri Grant, Cathal Gaffney, and Gillian Higgins.

In June 2015, Brown Bag Films' series Doc McStuffins was awarded the Peabody Award for Children's Programming in the 74th Annual Peabody Awards. Doc McStuffins has also garnered 3 NAACP Image Awards, 1 NAMIC Vision Award for Best Animation, 2 Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Actor Jaden Betts, Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Television - Young Actress Caitlin Carmichael, 3 Image Awards for Outstanding Children's Program, Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Loretta Devine, Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program - (Series or Special) Loretta Devine and 3 Sentinel Health Award wins.

Brown Bag Films' series Bing was awarded Best Writing in a Children’s TV Episode at The Writers' Guild Awards Great Britain 2014. Bing also received 2 Irish Animation Awards in 2015 – Best Design/Art Direction & Best Director of an Animated TV Series.

Brown Bag Films' series Octonauts was awarded 1 IFTA award for Best Children’s/Youth Programme in 2013.

Brown Bag Films' series Henry Hugglemonster was awarded an Irish Animation Award for Best Animated Preschool Series (up to 6 years) in 2015.

Brown Bag Films' short film ANYA received Best Overall Short Film and Best Sound at the Limerick Film Festival.

Brown Bag Films' short Film Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty has garnered the following awards: Galway Film Fleadh, IRL – Winner Best Animated Short Palm Springs, LA – Runner up, Audience Choice Award Denver Starz, U.S. – Winner, People’s Choice Award Dam Short Film Fest, U.S. – Runner-up, Audience Award Irish Film & TV awards, IRL – Winner Best Animation Omaha Film Festival, U.S. – Best Animated Short, Audience award Heart of Gold, AUS – Winner, Best Comedy Cinegael Montreal - Winner, Audience Award, Best Short Newport Beach - Winner, Outstanding Achievement in Short Films Chicago Irish Film Festival, US - Audience Award, Best Short (2nd Place) Cinegael Montreal, CAN - Audience Award, Best Short Cineanima Short Film Festival, POR - Special Mention, Best Short Film Academy Awards®, USA - Best Animated Short Film nomination Cartoons on the Bay, IT - Best Short Animation & Best Animated Character Digital Media Awards, IRE - Best Animation

Brown Bag Films' short film Give Up Yer Aul Sins received Best Animation at Galway Film Fleadh, Best Irish and Best International Animation at Cork Film Festival and Special Award for Original Idea at Cartoons on the Bay.


Brown Bag Films have produced a number of TV series and short films including:

  • "The Stinky and Dirty Show" (2014–present). Produced for Amazon Prime.
  • "Trouble in Paradise" (2014–present). Online series created and directed by Shane Collins.
  • "An Ode To Love" (2014, 7.5 mins). Short film written and directed by Matthew Darragh.
  • "Bing" (2013-2014, 78 x 7 mins) for CBeebies. Series directed by Nicky Phelan.
  • "Anya" (2013, 5 mins). Short film written and directed by Damien O'Connor in collaboration with To Russia With Love charity organisation.
  • "Henry Hugglemonster" (2013–present, 52 x 11 mins) for Disney, created by Niamh Sharkey. Series directed by Norton Virgien.
  • "Peter Rabbit" (2012, 52 x 11 mins & 2 x 22 mins) for Nickelodeon (US) and BBC. Series directed by David McCamley.
  • "Bird Food" (2012, 5 mins). Short film written and directed by Richard Keane.
  • "Doc McStuffins" (2012–present, 52 x 11 mins) for Disney, created by Chris Nee. Series directed by Norton Virgien.
  • "Octonauts" (Season 1, 2010, 52 X 11 mins and Season 2, 2012, 22 x 11 mins) for Silvergate Media/BBC, created by Meomi Design. Series 1 directed by Darragh O'Connell, series 2 directed by Nicky Phelan.
  • "23 Degrees, 5 Minutes" (2011, 10 mins), directed by Darragh O'Connell.
  • "Noddy in Toyland" (2009, 52 x 10 mins) for Chorion/FIVE UK, created by Enid Blyton. Series directed by David McCamley.
  • "Olivia" (Season 1, 2009, 52 x 10 mins and Season 2, 2010, 52 X 11 mins) for Chorion/Nickelodeon US, created by Ian Falconer. Series 1 directed by Darragh O'Connell, series 2 directed by Tim Bjorklund.
  • "Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" (2008, 6 mins), directed by Nicky Phelan.
  • "Grabby Bag" (2007, 12 x 5 mins) for RTÉ, created and directed by David McCamley.
  • "Teenology" (2007, 30 × 1 mins) for RTÉ, created and directed by Bronagh O'Hanlon.
  • "Wobbly Land" (2007, 26 x 5 mins) for HIT Entertainment and Nickelodeon UK. Created and directed by Cat Little.
  • "Crap Rap" (2007, 20 × 4 mins) for RTÉ, created and directed by Nicky Phelan.
  • "Im an Animal" (2006, 52 × 2 mins) for RTÉ and the Irish Film Board.
  • "Ding Dong Denny's A History of Ireland" (2006-2007, 5 mins). Short film directed by Cathal Gaffney.
  • "Give Up Yer Aul Sins" (2000, 6 × 5 mins, 1 X 26 mins) documentary for RTÉ/Irish Film Board, short film directed by Cathal Gaffney, Series directed by Darragh O'Connell.
  • "The Last Elk" (1998, 7 mins). Short film directed by Alan Shannon.
  • "Barstool" (1996, 7 × 4 mins) for RTÉ, created by Paul Young.
  • "Peig" (1994, 7 × 3 mins) for RTÉ, created by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brown Bag Films Founders". Brown Bag Films. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sketching Success: Brown Bag Films Go to the Oscars Trinity College Dublin by Sinead Gillett
  3. ^ "Brown Bag Films Gilbert and Allie Press Release". October 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ Oscars Awards database
  5. ^ Oscars Awards database
  6. ^
  7. ^ Koch, Dave (May 1, 2014). "Peter Rabbit Bags Three". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 

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