Apple reportedly near deal for animated movie from Irish studio

Cartoon Saloon released Oscar-nominated films The Breadwinner, Song of the Sea and Secret of Kells.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
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Cartoon Saloon's Secret of Kells received a 2010 Oscars nomination for best animated feature film. 

Cartoon Saloon

It was only a matter of time before Apple set its sights on the feature-film market, and its first movie might be animated. 

Citing anonymous sources privy to private negotiations, Bloomberg reports Apple is close to a deal for distribution rights for an as-yet-unmade movie from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon. The studio is known for Song of the Sea and Secret of Kells

Bloomberg's sources say the film could possibly get a theatrical release, which would qualify it for Academy Awards consideration. 

If this deal comes to fruition, the movie will join an expanding slate of Apple-related productions, including TV shows Little Voice (with J.J. Abrams) and Dickinson, a coming-of-age comedy inspired by the life of poet Emily Dickinson. 

Apple reportedly has a $1 billion war chest meant to fund shows and movies aimed at competing with streaming-video juggernauts like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Part of that is already going to a comedy series with Kristen Wiig and a reboot of the horror anthology show Amazing Stories.

We don't know yet how viewers will access this upcoming avalanche of streaming video content. Apple declined to comment about the potential movie deal. 

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