Rocka-Bye Island (Inis Spraoi)
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Rocka-Bye Island (Inis Spraoi)
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Ireland's First TV Series Animated in Toon Boom's Harmony

Rocka-Bye Island follows the adventures of Sean and Roisin. Every school-day they and their friends hop on board Skipper Seamus’ school-boat and launch off for a day of adventure on Rocka-Bye Island. And to greet them on the dock is their teacher Mr. O’Dear. With the support of Mr. O’Dear, Ruari Robot and many other island friends, the children have a grand day out learning about their world and how it works.






The concept for Rocka-Bye Island began when Clifford Parrott and brothers Stephen and Kevin O’Brien were collaborating on producing animated preschool shorts for Disney. Clifford had created, wrote and directed over 80 of these shorts and asked Stephen and Kevin whether there was anything similar on Irish TV. The brothers are both preschool teachers and speak fluent Irish (Gaelic). There was nothing like the Disney shorts on local TV so they set out to create something unique.

The initial formats were to be short, we wanted them 2 to 5 minutes and they would be in both the English and Irish language. The funders wanted a longer format, including an interactive sequence (similar to the popular Dora the Explorer at the time). To accommodate the interactive sequence and maintain a story, it was expanded to 11 minutes.

The series was developed combining entertainment and clear educational goals such as sharing, gender neutrality, inclusion and safety. Each episode features original music and songs from Stephen O’Brien, who has recorded over 40 Irish nursery rhymes Foras na Gaeilge/FNT which are currently used as a resource material in Naíonraí throughout Ireland.

Once we were in production, we set about refining the design of the show. We were lucky getting renowned art director Frank Montagna, of Disney fame. He created a lovely overall design for the show, giving each part of the island its own colour scheme and feel. Frank introduced us to an amazingly talented character designer, Nickelodeon’s Ernie Gilbert, Jr. of Fairly Odd Parents fame. We co-produced the show with our distributor, Monster Entertainment and their experienced producer, Deirdre Barry lead the team.

Directed by Clifford Parrott for Magpie 6 Media and produced by Deirdre Barry for Monster Entertainment, the series is being distributed internationally by Monster Entertainment.

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Mister O'Dear
Main Character

Mister O’Dear is the Sean and Roisín’s teacher and he’s a six foot and six inch tall deer. He comes from a long line of teachers that stretch way back beyond the mists of time. He is very kind and patient with his young charges. He understands that they are new to a lot of experiences and he gives them plenty of time and space to work out problems.

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Main Character

Seán and Roisín are roles models for the show’s young viewers. Sean is thoughtful, inquisitive and likes to share with the others. He’s a good boy but not a goody-two-shoes. He likes to make sure all of the children share in activities. He’s a natural leader and will be the first one to venture into an adventure.

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Main Character

Roisín is a little younger than Seán, and a budding young artist who’s favourite medium is plasticine and finger paints. A dreamer with a vivid imagination, she loves play acting, singing and dressing up in costume. She’s the more talkative one of the group and likes to engage with the many funny characters on the island. She enjoys talking to the TV viewers during the interactive sequence.

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Ruari Robot
Secondary Character

Ruari Robot is Mr. O’Dear’s reliable assistant at the school. He’s always ready to lend a hand and can anticipate Mr. O’Dear’s needs. He’s the one to make sure the lunches are ready, wellies are lined up in order and that coats and bags are hung up properly in their place. Ruari takes things literally and tries Mr. O’Dear’s patience much to the amusement of the students.