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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter


by director Tomm Moore

Our inspiration for this third film in our Irish folklore triptych came from stories very close to home here in Kilkenny, Ireland.

The folklore of the “Wolves of Ossory” had fascinated me since I was teenager and I rediscovered them as we researched this film. The fact that these stories spoke to a pre-colonial worldview that saw nature as something we were an equal part of rather than something we were separate from fascinated me. To reimagine how we live as part of our biosphere seems so urgent to me now and reconnecting young audiences with this important cultural legacy and more humble way of seeing our place in nature was a huge part of my personal inspiration for making this film..

Also to explore much needed themes of empathy and children's ability to see similarities over difference was important to me. To remind ourselves to value freedom over submission to the rule of fear and ignorance of the “other,” seems sadly timely despite the story being set hundreds of years ago.

Finally to entertain and enchant a new generation with the ageless magic of hand drawn animation has been a career goal of mine.

I was excited to work with Ross Stewart and our team to push the boundaries of what hand drawn animation can do and to create this love letter to traditional animation.

by director Ross Stewart

Making Wolfwalkers was a chance for us to use the expressive artform of hand drawn animation to tell a story of great importance to us. Living in an age of mass extinction, environmental destruction and polarisation of societies compelled us to tell a tale of two girls who should be enemies and how they became the best of friends to work together to save a last wolfpack from extinction. The next generation's only hope to save this planet we call home is to work together as one human race, overcome superficial or cultural differences and see the common good and common tragedy unfolding; how to right the wrongs previous generations have left us; how to resist orders of fear mongering leaders and do what the heart says is true.

Making Wolfwalkers with a team of hundreds of talented artists was apt to the central theme. All overcame differences to find the common expression of their artform to heighten the story. Splashes of paint, charcoal markmaking on paper, gestural drawings of wolves—across borders, cultural and language divides, the hands of artists built up the layers of creativity that exists on screen now. Surely as Robyn and Mebh's struggle to find freedom is a story told thanks to the many creatives who cooperated in filmmaking, our younger audience can learn that cooperation of our species can save our planet too.

Along the way, if they howl at the moon or run barefoot through some forest, then even better.

Posted April 7, 2021

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