Tomm Moore

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Tomm Moore
Moore in 2020
Thomas Moore

(1977-01-07) 7 January 1977 (age 47)
Newry, Northern Ireland, U.K.
Alma materBallyfermot College of Further Education
Occupation(s)Film director, film producer, illustrator, screenwriter, character designer
Years active1998–present
SpouseLiselott Olofsson

Thomas "Tomm" Moore (born 7 January 1977) is an Irish filmmaker, animator, illustrator and comics artist. He co-founded Cartoon Saloon with Nora Twomey and Paul Young,[1] an animation studio and production company based in Kilkenny, Ireland. His first three feature films, The Secret of Kells (2009), co-directed with Nora Twomey, Song of the Sea (2014) and Wolfwalkers (2020), co-directed with Ross Stewart, have received critical acclaim and were all nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Early life[edit]

Moore, the eldest of four children, was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.[2] At an early age, his family moved to Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland where his father worked as an engineer. During his early to mid-teens, Moore joined the Young Irish Film Makers in Kilkenny, where he grew his knowledge and passion for film and animation. After leaving St Kieran's College secondary school, he studied classical animation at Ballyfermot College of Further Education in Dublin.


During his final year at Ballyfermot in 1999, Moore co-founded the Cartoon Saloon animation studio with Paul Young and Nora Twomey. Initially they set up studio alongside Moore's alma mater Young Irish Film Makers, but the studio soon outgrew the premises. The studio created the television series Skunk Fu!.

Moore's first animated feature film, which he co-directed with Nora Twomey, is The Secret of Kells (2009), written by Fabrice Ziolkowski from a story by Moore and Aidan Harte. It is a co-production by the Cartoon Saloon, Les Armateurs, Vivi Film and France 2 Cinéma.[3] The film is a hand-drawn animation, set in 9th century Ireland, and partially based on and inspired by early Christian history and legend. It premiered on 8 February 2009, at the Berlin International Film Festival. It went into wide release in Belgium and France on 11 February, and in the Republic of Ireland on 3 March. On 2 February 2010, it was announced that the film had been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.[4]

In 2014, Moore completed his second feature film, entitled Song of the Sea (2014).[5] Like The Secret of Kells, it is traditionally animated and is based on Irish folklore, specifically selkies. The film was a major critical success and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Also in 2014, Moore co-directed a segment of the Salma Hayek produced film The Prophet with Ross Stewart, adapted from Kahlil Gibran's book of prose poetry essays of the same name. The production consisted of different directors for each of the film's collective essays, with animation director, Roger Allers supervising and credited as screenwriter. Both of Moore's 2014 films received their world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[6]

Moore's third directorial feature film (co-directed with Ross Stewart), Wolfwalkers, was released in 2020 on Apple TV+.[7] The film is the final installment in Moore's "Irish Folklore trilogy", comprising Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, and The Secret of Kells.[8]


Moore has drawn two Irish language graphic novels, An Sclábhaí ("the slave", 2001) and An Teachtaire ("the messenger", 2003), telling the story of St. Patrick. Both were written by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh and published in Ireland by Cló Mhaigh Eo.[9] He has also created a two-volume graphic novel adaptation of The Secret of Kells, published in French as Brendan et le secret de Kells.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Moore is a nephew of the singer/songwriter Kieran Goss.[11] He has been in a relationship with his wife Liselott Olofsson, a ceramicist, since the mid-1990s, and they have an adult son, Ben (the namesake of the main character of Song of the Sea).[12][13][14] He has been a vegetarian since childhood and is now vegan.[15][16]



Year Title Director Producer Writer Other Notes
2009 The Secret of Kells Yes Yes Story Yes Directoral debut
Character designer
2014 Song of the Sea Yes Yes Story No
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Yes No No Yes Segment (On Love)
2017 The Breadwinner No Yes No No
2020 Wolfwalkers[17] Yes Yes Story No
2021 Belle[18] No No No Yes Production designer
2022 My Father's Dragon No Yes No No
2023 The Inventor No No No Yes


Year Title Producer Other Notes
1999 Under the Hawthorn Tree No Yes TV movie
Production designer
2015–2016 Puffin Rock Yes Yes Also co-creator
2015 Eddie of the Realms Eternal Yes No

Awards and nominations[edit]

For The Secret of Kells

For Song of the Sea

For Wolfwalkers

For Belle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O’Connell, Mark. "Cartoon Saloon and the New Golden Age of Animation". The New Yorker. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  2. ^ van der Lugt, Peter (7 October 2009). "An Interview with Director Tomm Moore". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  3. ^ The Secret of Kells at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Ryzik, Melena (2 March 2010). "An Indie Takes on Animation's Big Boys". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  5. ^ Brown, Todd (12 March 2009). "News: BRENDAN Director Tomm Moore Sings A SONG OF THE SEA". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  6. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (23 May 2014). "GALLERY: Salma Hayek's 'The Prophet'". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Wolfwalkers". Apple TV+. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Wolfwalkers". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  9. ^ "An Sclábhaí" [The Slave]. Cló Mhaigh Eo (in Irish). Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  10. ^ Brendan et le secret de Kells at (in French)[dead link]
  11. ^ Goss, Kieran [@KieranGoss] (4 November 2010). "My nephew Tomm Moore has been nominated for an Oscar for his movie 'The Secret of Kells':" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Brady, Tara (10 July 2015). "Tomm Moore, Celtic cartoonist with two Oscar nods". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Tomm Moore: Kilkenny is a small city with a huge heart". The Times UK. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  14. ^ Moore, Tomm [@tommmoore] (12 November 2020). "My wife and I were teenage parents in the 1990s living on incredibly low income for many years - we didn't starve" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Moore, Tomm [@tommmoore] (11 February 2012). "@Vauben been vegetarian since childhood try to eat vegan as much as possible" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Moore, Tomm [@tommmoore] (20 August 2020). "I dunno man I ate like this as a very poor person in my early twenties ... never felt I was missing anything and raised my son a vegetarian we were teenage parents . I honestly find it baffling how it can Cost more to just eat plants ? I went vegetarian as a kid vegan at 30" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Amidi, Amid (13 February 2017). "Cartoon Movie 2017: Five Innovative Family Films Out of Europe". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  18. ^ "'Raya and the Last Dragon' Leads 2022 Annie Awards Feature Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 December 2021.
  19. ^ Sheehy, Ted (16 July 2008). "Secret Of Kells takes Ireland's Directors Finders Series Award". Screen Daily. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  20. ^ Tony (6 December 2009). "Brendan and the Secret of Kells". Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  21. ^ A 9. Kecskeméti Animációs Filmfesztivál és a 6. Nemzetközi Animációs Fesztivál díjai (English: "Awards"). Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Winners of the 7th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards". Irish Film & Television Academy. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  23. ^ "Aardman wins at British Animation Awards". BBC News. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  24. ^ "un Prix spécial du Jury a été attribué au Chant de la mer de Tomm Moore". 27 October 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  25. ^ "42nd Annual Annie Award Nominees". Retrieved 1 December 2014.

External links[edit]