Irish-based Cartoon Saloon has established itself as one of the world’s finest animation studios, having received Oscar nominations for projects including Song of the sea, the secret of Kells and The livelihood.
Their latest project Wolfwalkers, which was sold in a brilliant contract to Apple TV +, is a continuation of the themes of Song of the sea and Kells by being steeped in Irish folklore. The film follows a young girl and her father who travel to Ireland to wipe out a pack of wolves, before encountering a mysterious tribe that turns into a wolf at night.
“I don’t know where we got the name ‘Wolf Walkers’, they were originally known as ‘Wolfmen of Ossory’. Ossory [now modern-day County Kilkenny] is an old name for the region we grew up in and where our studio is located, ”co-director Tomm Moore said of the project’s backstory during the film’s panel at the season event of the Deadline Contenders Film Awards. “The sad story is that the wolves were completely wiped out, and with that much of the folklore died as well. We thought it was good to revitalize and reinvent the stories. “
Co-Director Ross Stewart adds, “A lot of culture is being left out, especially in a digital world. It is important to reinterpret these stories and reinvent them for a modern generation. “
The project was hand-drawn to a large extent, and Moore and Stewart say this particular film was a “celebration of hand-drawn animation,” which led to a lengthy production process, which finally took three years.
Check back for the panel video.