RB: The movie certainly does have some adult themes and a darker side. Did you set out to give it that edge?

TM: Well, yeah, it's not a film for little little kids; sometimes they're scared by the Vikings and stuff. It's a little more for 7 or 8 years upward, because it can be a bit heavy. We were trying to make a family movie without wearing kid gloves. When I look at movies that I saw as a kid, like Bambi, I realize they are pretty heavy and they deal with heavy themes and then they mix it in with a lot of entertainment. The Secret of Kells is the kind of movie that I would rather families watch together rather than just plunking the kids in front of the TV and leaving them to watch. I think it's the kind of movie that might inspire a dialogue between parents and kids. Even for myself, as a parent, I prefer that kind of family movie to a babysitter movie.

RB: You mentioned when you heard about this movie you were at work on your new film. Tell me about that.

TM: It's called Song of the Sea, and it's set in modern Ireland. It's about a little girl who's a Selkie. Selkies, in Irish folk art, are these creatures that can transform from people into seals. This selkie is kind of lost in the city and has to find her way back to sea ,and she encounters the remains of a kind of dying breed of fairies—fairies are falling back into the landscape—and they have to wake up to help her find her way back to the sea. So it's more of a modern fairy tale than The Secret of Kells. We still have to find the financing—we're putting that together at the moment—but hopefully this nomination will help. We've got good meetings planned out in L.A., so hopefully it won't take six years like the last one. Well, it took six years to find the financing, four years to make it—10 years total.

RB: For people in America who haven't seen the film yet, when can they get a hold of it?

TM: It's coming out in theaters around St. Patrick's Day in New York, Boston and Chicago, and then it's going to open into all the cities up through summer, and the DVD will come out in autumn.


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