Cartoon Saloon, via Cartoon Brew, have released the concept trailer for their new animated feature called Wolfwalkers, to be directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart.
The film is set in Kilkenny during the English Civil War in the mid-1600s and sees Cromwellian forces attempting to subdue the Irish populace by killing all of the wolves in Ireland. One little boy believes that the wolves, may not be wolves after all, but rather pagan people cursed to live as wolves. The script is written by Song of the Sea screenwriter Will Collins.
The Kilkenny-based studio has been twice nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, for The Secret of Kells in 2010 and Song of the Sea in 2016. They are currently in production on an adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ The Breadwinner, which is due later this year.
Director Tomm Moore was instrumental in making their two previous films and works here with Ross Stewart, the art director of The Secret of Kells, and co-director of the Cartoon Saloon sequence in the animated film adapted from Kahlil Gibran’s book The Prophet. Their focus for Wolfwalkers is a mixture of Celtic folklore and 17th-century Puritanical English in styles, using techniques familiar from The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, and adding a woodcut type ascetic.
“When we see the world from the point of view the wolves, it’s animated in charcoal with a very limited palette and colour only where there are scents. In contrast to the block print style in Kilkenny we have a much looser look to the forest — lots of ink splats and loose watercolours and scribbly pencil lines.
Tomm Moore, Co-director
Wolfwalkers has received development funding from the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. and Creative Europe MEDIA. Cartoon Saloon are currently in the process of pulling co-producers and financiers together to allow full production to begin in early 2018.