Depending on who you talk to, hand-drawn animation is either inching toward being an endangered art form in Hollywood. Or it’s already reached that point. Major film studios have generally leaned toward CG animation over the past twenty years. Leaving streamers like Netflix and to fund the occasional hand-drawn movie and keep the art form on life support.
Now Apple is getting in on the animated action with Wolfwalkers. A gorgeous new movie from two-time Oscar nominated director Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) and director Ross Stewart (The Secret of Kells). It’s about a young girl who’s raised to hunt and eradicate wolves. But her beliefs are challenged when she meets a tribal girl who has the ability to transform into a wolf. Check out the trailer below.
So here’s a sweeping generalization for you: most modern animation is kind of ugly. It either looks cheap, or the character designs are hideous. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Wolfwalkers, which has a beautiful, painterly vibe to it and visible. Shifting pencil marks in the animation which imbue the images with a sense of motion. And life that’s often missing in other animated projects.
And you get what I mean about the How to Train Your Dragon comparison, right? There’s also a bit of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in there too. (Plus, Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean provides one of the voices in this film.)
Song of the Sea writer Will Collins wrote the screenplay, and the movie stars Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whitaker, Simon McBurney, Tommy Tiernan, Jon Kenny, John Morton, and Maria Doyle Kennedy.
So here’s the official synopsis:
In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter. Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.