Step into the hand-drawn world of Wolfwalkers

Despite being an Apple TV+ production, a surprising amount of Wolfwalkers was hand drawn or painted.
Image: Apple

A new behind-the-scenes video on the making of Wolfwalkers shows that much of the animated movie was sketched and painted the traditional way. Kind of surprising — one might think an Apple TV+ film would be an intensely computer-driven production.

Watch the amazing video now:

Of course, computers are heavily involved to. Wacom tablets are much in evidence in Cartoon Saloon’s studio.

Wolfwalkers is set in medieval Ireland, and the animators tried to make the design of the movie reflect that. “We developed a way of offsetting the colors outside of the lines to make it look like mistakes in woodblock printing,” Helga Kristjana Bjarnadottir, the ink and paint supervisor.

Much of the action takes place in the woods, which brought its own special challenges. “We had to do quite a lot of by hand which took longer, but in the end it looks beautiful,” said Bjarnadottir.

Take a walk on the wild side

Wolfwalkers portrays the struggle between religious townspeople and magical forest dwellers. Apple says:

“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.”

It was recently nominated for the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar, and still might win. It also received a Golden Globe nomination and was nominated for an Annie too. The Cult of Mac review called it “the best animated film of the year.” It’s available to watch now on Apple’s streaming video service.