Welcome to Thanks, I Love It, our sequence highlighting one thing onscreen we’re obsessive about this week.
Wolfwalkers, an animated fantasy that simply landed on Apple TV+, is exclusive in additional methods than one.
The movie, which is a joint effort from Cartoon Saloon and Mélusine — studios most well-known for producing the Academy Award-nominated Music of the Sea and The Breadwinner — follows a free-spirited woman named Robyn who has simply moved from England to Eire together with her father in 1650. His aim? To assist Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell exterminate the wolves within the forest in order that the woodcutters can resume their work uninterrupted. The issue? After Robyn befriends Mebh, a Wolfwalker woman who has the power to shapeshift right into a wolf throughout her sleep, she should cease her father and Cromwell from wiping out the creatures.
This legendary story is stuffed with attention-grabbing twists and turns that maintain it feeling recent all through its over an hour-and-a-half runtime. Nonetheless, the most important factor that stored my eyes glued to the display was the film’s beautiful aesthetics. This is how Wolfwalkers makes use of its distinctive animation fashion to raised inform its whimsical story and demand all consideration within the course of.
The 2D animation cements the setting
In a time when computer-animation is the usual, it is refreshing to look at a film that totally embraces its 2D world. Wolfwalkers is fantastically illustrated with drawings that appear to be they might have been ripped straight out of a storybook. Whereas any movie might technically adapt this inventive fashion, Wolfwalkers’ setting feels particularly match for conventional animation.
As talked about, Wolfwalkers takes place in a legendary mid-1700s Eire. Certain, there are different animations set up to now that look attractive as digital animations, like 2013’s Frozen. However Frozen, regardless of being set in a kingdom impressed by 1840s Norway, nonetheless has a contemporary really feel. Wolfwalkers doesn’t.
Whereas there’s nothing significantly fallacious with mixing the previous and the brand new, Wolfwalkers‘ option to forgo a preferred, up to date animation fashion provides it sturdy historic vibes regardless of the story being rooted in fantasy. Actually leaning into the worldbuilding like this helps set it aside from the competitors. Plus, the hand-drawn world is totally attractive.
The colours create the temper
It is exhausting to not be overwhelmed by the heat of Wolfwalker‘s beautiful coloration palette, which creates a visible divider between the story’s good and evil characters.
When Robyn is busy exploring the woods and befriending Mebh, she’s greeted by wealthy autumn oranges, reds, and greens. These colours exude life and magic, giving the forest a vibrant, welcoming really feel that starkly contrasts the muted look of the city. The scarier moments then again, like when Robyn is compelled to confront the Lord Protector when he is enacting his evil plans, are lined in a sea of darkish reds, grays, and purples. These shades evoke a way of terror and dread.
As a result of the colours match the feelings of every scene, viewers are totally immersed within the occasions that play out earlier than them. This color-coding approach is simply as narratively useful as it’s fairly.
The strains divide the magical world from the widespread one
Robyn’s Irish city is unexciting to her. Earlier than she learns of the Wolfwalkers, she desires to affix her father on his hunt slightly than staying behind. However even after Robyn meets Mebh, she nonetheless desires to journey into the forest to embrace the liberty mendacity exterior the city’s partitions. Sure, the colours separate these two worlds — the unusual one and the magical one — however so do the strains.
The city is made up of straight strokes, scattered dashes, and smoothed angled. It is easy and uncomplicated, not like the whole lot the magic interacts with. The forest the place Mebh lives, for instance, is stuffed with swirly timber and vines that twist into existence. When Robyn begins seeing the world by a wolf’s eyes, her personal imaginative and prescient overflows with fluid, energetic golden strains that symbolize the enchantment.
Within the Wolfwalkers universe, movement equals magic. When viewers spot strains that move, they’re given a clue that mystical issues lie close by and they need to subsequently anticipate coming wonders.
Wolfwalkers did not must rigorously fill its hand-drawn animations with vibrant colours and detailed strokes, however in doing so, its significant story carries a fair heavier weight. This is to all of the animators who discovered a method to weave the narrative by the visuals.
Wolfwalkers is on the market to stream now on Apple TV+.