Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon is the studio behind three of the most acclaimed animated films in recent history: 2017’s The Breadwinner, 2014’s Song of the Sea, and 2009’s The Secret of Kells. Eschewing the flashy CGI of Disney and Pixar for vibrant, colorful, and intricate animation that often draws on mythology and fairy tales, Cartoon Saloon’s films also feature richly emotional — and in some cases, heartbreaking — storylines.
Their newest feature film, Wolfwalkers, certainly looks to continue that trend. Directed by Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) and Ross Stewart, Wolfwalkers follows a young girl who travels to Ireland with her father to hunt wolves, where she meets a girl with mysterious abilities. 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.
Visually speaking, this looks very much of a piece with Moore’s previous films — and yes, that is Sean Bean’s voice you hear as Robyn’s father. And given that this is a Tomm Moore film, I expect Wolfwalkers to have a storyline that’s as poignant as it is fantastical.
Wolfwalkers will première at the Toronto International Film Festival followed by a theatrical run. After that, it’ll become an Apple TV+ exclusive sometime around Christmas. Via Polygon.