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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about…™ Cartoon Saloon's Irish Folklore Trilogy – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Although this very special set of Blu-rays is entitled Cartoon Saloon's Irish Folklore Trilogy, I believe the studio is selling itself short by that moniker, as these films are no more "cartoons" than Disney's Bambi or Pinocchio.

They are brilliantly rendered animated feature films.

This is a four-disc set, that comes beautifully boxed, with a small book, and solid, beautifully designed packaging from which it is easy to extricate the disc of choice.

There are three films.

The each film's disc comes with various extras, especially as the films are short, while the fourth disc allows it full space to even more extras.

The Secret of the Kells (2009), Song of the Sea (2014), and Wolfwalkers (2020) - all three directed by Tomm Moore, with Secret along with Nora Twomey, and Wolfwalkers, Ross Stewart.

The three have an extremely unique and beautiful style.

They share other important attributes. They were all Academy nominees for Best Animated Feature. Kells and Song were shot on film, while Wolfwalkers was created digitally.

The presentation of the films, via the GKIDS, and Shout Factory, brings the trilogy together for the first time, along with Wolfwalker's first release to home video.

Value-wise, the set is a bargain at c. $65 street in pre-release. Secret of the Kells is currently selling for $60 in a 2010 release.

These are very special animated films, in a way in the same artistic space as some of the Studio Ghibli films. Someone at Shout appreciates quality modern animation.

I'm often queried by vendors as to whether I might be doing a Christmas gift piece, and I never have. But this is a perfect gift, especially for a young person considering animation as a career.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Jake Lipson

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Thank you for this. It is the first review I've seen for the new set.

GKIDS is not a division of Shout Factory. They are an independent studio specializing in foreign and independent animation. Shout Factory has a home video distribution deal with them, but they are not the same company.

I really want to own this, but the price is a little high for me right now so I will be waiting for a while to see if it drops.
 

titch

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This set is the only way to obtain WolfWalkers, a film virtually no one has seen, as it was one of the very few films released during the beginning of the current pandemic. I agree with Robert Harris that these are exceptional films.
 

bujaki

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This set is the only way to obtain WolfWalkers, a film virtually no one has seen, as it was one of the very few films released during the beginning of the current pandemic. I agree with Robert Harris that these are exceptional films.
Wolfwalkers is brilliant film making; so are the other films. Anyone who loves animation should watch (and own) these films.
 

PaulaJ

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So thrilled to see Robert Harris writing about the exquisite films of Cartoon Saloon! I had the great pleasure of seeing The Book of Kells and Song of the Sea in the theater. Wolfwalkers I had to catch streaming. Cartoon Saloon's fourth feature is a non-Irish story, The Breadwinner, about a little Afghan girl who has to provide for her family. (I haven't seen it yet, but I really need to get around to it.)

I would like to add that Cartoon Saloon has also produced two seasons of an adorable series for young children, Puffin Rock. The animation is gorgeous and the stories, about the adventures of a young puffin named Oona, her baby brother Baba and their various animal friends are sweet and charming. Chris O'Dowd provides narration. Both seasons are available on Netflix and apparently a feature film is on the way. I don't have kids but I was completely enraptured by this show. I highly recommend it, whether you have kids to watch it with... or not. :)
 

bujaki

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So thrilled to see Robert Harris writing about the exquisite films of Cartoon Saloon! I had the great pleasure of seeing The Book of Kells and Song of the Sea in the theater. Wolfwalkers I had to catch streaming. Cartoon Saloon's fourth feature is a non-Irish story, The Breadwinner, about a little Afghan girl who has to provide for her family. (I haven't seen it yet, but I really need to get around to it.)

I would like to add that Cartoon Saloon has also produced two seasons of an adorable series for young children, Puffin Rock. The animation is gorgeous and the stories, about the adventures of a young puffin named Oona, her baby brother Baba and their various animal friends are sweet and charming. Chris O'Dowd provides narration. Both seasons are available on Netflix and apparently a feature film is on the way. I don't have kids but I was completely enraptured by this show. I highly recommend it, whether you have kids to watch it with... or not. :)
The Breadwinner is also excellent. You won't be disappointed.
 

cadavra

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I hope they change their minds and also release WOLFWALKERS singly. It's an astounding film, plus I really don't want to shell out for the other two again.
 

24fpsNinja

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Apparently there is also an upcoming UK Blu-ray release of Wolfwalkers in original Irish language, for those interested. No word yet if it will include English subs.
This is a really nice looking packaging so I’ll most likely double dip in order to get it along with the other two previously purchased titles.
 

Blu_rayfan66

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Apparently there is also an upcoming UK Blu-ray release of Wolfwalkers in original Irish language, for those interested. No word yet if it will include English subs.
This is a really nice looking packaging so I’ll most likely double dip in order to get it along with the other two previously purchased titles.

99% sure it will have English subs...very few people in the UK understand the Irish (Gaelic) language and not many in Ireland either even tho the language is taught at high school there.
 

titch

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I've compared the Cartoon Saloon's set with my two other standalone releases of The Secret Of Kells and Song Of The Sea. The picture and sound look more or less identical - although the encoding seems different, but on Song Of The Sea, the box set version has an improved subtitle layout. All the bonus features for the individual discs are the same. Apart from commentaries over the uncoloured features on the forth disc, there wasn't really substantial bonus material. The StudioCanal packaging had some rather useless soft rubber spindles, which didn't hold the discs firmly, after they were removed. If you have the two previous releases, the only real reason to get this set, is for Wolfwalkers.

IMG_6335D.jpg
IMG_6331.jpg

IMG_6334D.jpg
 

bujaki

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I've compared the Cartoon Saloon's set with my two other standalone releases of The Secret Of Kells and Song Of The Sea. The picture and sound look more or less identical - although the encoding seems different, but on Song Of The Sea, the box set version has an improved subtitle layout. All the bonus features for the individual discs are the same. Apart from commentaries over the uncoloured features on the forth disc, there wasn't really substantial bonus material. The StudioCanal packaging had some rather useless soft rubber spindles, which didn't hold the discs firmly, after they were removed. If you have the two previous releases, the only real reason to get this set, is for Wolfwalkers.

View attachment 122856 View attachment 122857
View attachment 122859
The packaging is an engineering fail. The disks don't stick to the spindles. My set arrived with all the discs floating and Wolfwalkers (!!) severely scratched. FAIL!!!
 

titch

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The packaging is an engineering fail. The disks don't stick to the spindles. My set arrived with all the discs floating and Wolfwalkers (!!) severely scratched. FAIL!!!
I'm assuming you have the US/Shout Factory release? It has the foam hubs too? If so, then the box is exactly the same as the UK StudioCanal one. Ridiculous design for $80!
 
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bujaki

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I'm assuming you have the US/Shout Factory release? It has the foam hubs too? If so, then the box is exactly the same as the UK StudioCanal one. Ridiculous design for $80!
US/Shout release. Had to return it. Sad.
 

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