Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tomm Moore's Next Irish Folklore Film, 'Wolfwalkers' Pitch Trailer Released

In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, ROBYN, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, MEBH, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the WOLFWALKERS and transform her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

The third animated feature film from director Tomm Moore and Cartoon Saloon, (Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea) Wolfwalkers has had fans eager to know more ever since the first pieces of concept art and a synopsis were teased, back in 2015. (Click on images for a closer look.)
This week, Tomm Moore (yes, we're spelling his name correctly), and his co-director Ross Stewart pitched Wolfwalkers at the Cartoon Movie Festival - and that meant a 'pitch trailer' with test animation, (different from a regular trailer, since all art was made to pitch the movie, instead of pulled fro the movie to entice you to see it), along with additional concept art.
At C festival : Wolfwalkers movie by Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart / Cartoon Saloon
You can see the trademark Tomm Moore design sensibility (aka simply beautiful and mythic), along with some possible hints at other aspects in the title text.

Here is the pitch trailer:
Wolfwalkers teaser at Cartoon Movie festival March 9th
From Den of Geek, (Nov 2015):
Cartoon Saloon’s next feature (FTNH Ed: after 'The Breadwinner') is expected to be Tomm Moore’s third, and another piece of Irish folklore. As you can see... Moore is dabbling with lycanthropy, though with a definite twist. According to Moore... the film draws on Oliver Cromwell’s decision to ‘tame Ireland’ by slaughtering their wolves. 
The inclusion of a character called Mebh (pronounced like Maeve) might be an allusion to Táin Bó Cúailnge, the episode of the Ulster cycle that deals with the driving off of the cows of Cooley.
The lead for this film was changed, fairly early on, from a little boy (like the previous two films main protagonists were) to a girl, which means we'll be looking at a 'girl friendship' film - something which is still unusual in animation (and not just there, either). Here's some concept art, the pencil drawings by Moore:
From Tomm Moore (via Animation for Adults):
It's set during the English Civil War in the mid 1600s but Oliver Cromwell decided he was going to symbolically tame Ireland by killing all the Wolves. So he sent all these hunters over, and if they killed a certain amount of wolves they got a bit of land. So the main protagonist is this little boy from England who comes over with his Dad, and he arrives actually near where I live in Killkenny. And he runs up against that around here wolves weren't seen as baddies, they were actually seen as people. The belief was that wolves were people that St Patrick had put a curse on when they wouldn't convert from paganism. So a lot of people believed that wolves.. especially around the Killkenny area.. were people. So that's the kind of premise! I won't tell you any more than that...
And on that note, here's a little something Tomm tweeted a couple of days ago...
The projected release date for Wolfwalkers is 2018 but that's not firm and without much to go on, it's difficult to know what stage of the production the film is currently in. Whenever that will be, it won't feel soon enough!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this research and photo presentation of this wolf type story and the history of Cromwell sending hunters to rid Ireland of wolves. Ouch. atk