When I got the invite to take part in a master class on animation from the team that created Wolfwalkers, I was so excited. I had been meaning to watch the movie (admittedly, I thought it was a series at first) and I was already halfway in love with the look of the artwork.
The day before the event, Apple TV sent this gorgeous mailing that included a leather bound journal, colored pencils, and small leaves that were actually wildflower seeds.
Before we get to the event, let’s check out the movie!
Directors: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Format: Animated, Digital
Time: 103 minutes
Release Date: November 13, 2020
Platform: Apple TV+
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.
Cast: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney
And now the trailer:
The chat started with a short intro with Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart before it segued into a pre-recorded set up for the animation. There were two animators in addition to Tomm and Ross and each person did one character (or in Ross’s case, a background for the character).
It was pretty amazing to see how each person started out with a light sketch to a heavier outline to finish off the drawing.
After each animator had their presentation, it went back to a live feed with the four of them and they answered some of the questions that had been asked in the chat while the presentation was going. Some of the highlights:
- The script was written and finished well before the animating starts
- Backgrounds were painted on paper with watercolors and the line drawings were done on different sheets with ink
- There were about 80 animators and line drawers. Everyone worked on everything; however, if someone showed at being better at one thing (the forest, the town, the characters), they would mostly work on that
- The soldiers were drawn to move stiff and structured. In contrast, everything in the forest was made to move fluidly
- The movie is a love letter to Kilkenny and Ireland. The studio has a balcony that looks over a castle and the sort of rooftops Robin ran over when she was a wolf
- Cartoon Saloon is currently in production on a feature film called My Father’s Dragon as well as a tv series with Apple TV+ that can’t be talked about yet
I really enjoyed this movie: from the look of the animation, to the characters, to the story, and the accents, all of it was a delight. If you haven’t watched Wolfwalkers yet, I fully recommend it!
Huge thanks to Cartoon Saloon, SAG-AFTRA, and Apple TV for this amazing presentation and super cool mailing. Wolfwalkers is out now and is streaming on Apple TV+
Have you watched Wolfwalkers? Do you plan to?