EYEBALLED is a CGI comedy fantasy feature loosely based on characters and settings from Irish mythology, mainly taken from The Book Of Invasions. Think Monsters Inc. meets Asterix with a hint of How To Train Your Dragon set in a mythical Celtic Bronze Age.
Balor Of The Evil Eye is the terrifying ruler of the brutish but smart Fomorians who live under a huge glass tower with tunnels that house dark steampunk labs full of inventors and tinkering scientists who use luges to travel their netherworld.
The human and aristocratic - but not all that sensible - Tua live in creaky thatch-roofed river houses and ride ponies so small their spurred shoes scrape the ground as they gallop out to face the Fomorians in open battle. The Fomorians rely on science and brute force to get their way while the Tua rely on magic and mystery to get theirs. The Tua flying ships are powered by what looks like a wish to stay airborne: even the Fomorian scientists - who use smelly methane in their blimps - are unable to work out how the silver ships stay up in the air.
There are opportunities too humorous to mention in this film to poke fun at some of our national legends while gleefully celebrating the wealth and prestige of the source material.
In the Fomorian monster world it’s the women who drive progress and education while their husbands, brothers and fathers live up to the stereotypes of brutish warrior-dom. The Fomorian girls - in their sleek Bond villainesque robes - look nothing like the Fomorian men who ham up the berserker look in their seaweed loincloths and cetacean skull helmets. Their world makes no sense until it does - when we see their scientific advances in action.
On the other hand the very human and rather stoic Tua are closer to what we expect of our distant Celtic ancestors - if they were all prudish mystics who not only thought the sun revolved around the earth but that the earth revolved around them. The comic spirit of this world is clear from the opening scenes as two very different cultures clash on just about every level.
And while some things may remain mysterious, one thing is clear: the colliding characters of Eyeballed will continue to have it out with each other until the cops are called. They arrive in the unlikely guise of six year old twins, Ifa and Shifra, two little forces of nature who stop the madness by simply helping Balor - an essentially gentle person with a power he doesn’t want - to overcome his disability.
Eyeballed is a redemption story, like Beauty And The Beast, about how a beautiful soul can be released from an ugly body. It is an entertaining take on Irish folklore that doesn't take itself too seriously. It is a spoof of sorts but a spoof with a big heart
Themes of friendship, of belonging and of not being cast out from the world because one is different, drive its every beat. There are laughs, tears, thrills and a rollercoaster ride with characters many of us remember from childhood tales.
We think it’s time to bring these characters and their often madcap deeds back to audiences. If they know who Balor is they will get a kick out of this new version of the old cyclops and his world. If they don't, they will be introduced to a wealth of characters and actions that have been tested in the fire of repeated storytelling in ancient Celtic sagas.