Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2021

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24 cgw j a n • f e b • m a r c h 2 0 2 1 My-Makers W hen describing Cartoon Sa- loon's third and final install- ment of its 2D Irish folklore tril- ogy of films, the phrase "third time's a charm" comes to mind, or perhaps more accurately, "third time's most charming of all." The hand-animated Wolfwalkers follows in the tracks of The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014), the first and second installment, respectively, in the Irish tryptic of films from Director Tomm Moore and the Irish animation film and television studio Cartoon Saloon. He co-founded the studio in 1999, which further craed the 2017 animated drama The Breadwinner. Ross Stewart, who was art director on the earlier films in the trilogy, co-directed Wolfwalkers, which began streaming on Apple TV+ in December, following limited global cinemat- ic release, to much anticipation. Approximately 200 artists worked on the film at Cartoon Saloon's Kilkenny studio, assisted by nearly 100 others at Melusine Productions (Luxembourg and France), which co-produced the feature. Based on a mix of local myths – wolves are prevalent in Irish folklore – the story of Wolfwalkers is somewhat historicized, taking place in the town of Kilkenny, Ireland (where Cartoon Saloon happens to be located) during the period of the Cromwellian cam- paign through that country. During this time of English colonization, the area was still mostly forest and populated by wolves, but it was being cleansed of its older Irish myths, practices, superstitions, and traditions, as well as its large wolf population. Here the myth unfolds as we find the young English apprentice hunter Robyn Goodfellowe, who journeyed to Ireland with her father, hired to eradicate the last wolf pack. One day, while exploring the forbidden wilderness beyond the town walls, Robyn meets and befriends the free-spirited feral-like girl Mebh MacTire, one of the last members of a mysterious tribe with a spiri- tual connection to the lupine and the ability to transform and roam among them at night. Soon Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of these "wolfwalkers," as she becomes a wolf when she sleeps and a girl when awake – shape- shiing into what her father has sworn to kill. "Ireland had once been called 'Wolf Land,' Beten Two Wlds THE HAND-ANIMATED WOLFWALKERS USES A TOUCH OF CGI IN A MOST UNUSUAL WAY BY KAREN MOLTENBREY Images © 2020 Cartoon Saloon/Apple TV+.

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