‘Wolfwalkers’: How Cartoon Saloon Created a Gamechanger with its Hand-Crafted Oscar Contender

When tackling “Wolfwalkers,” the last of Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated triptych about Irish folklore, there was no holding back for director Tomm Moore and art director-turned director Ross Stewart.

Cartoon Saloon could be more daring after their success on “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea,” which turned them into the Irish Studio Ghibli as a result of their experiments with new hand-drawn styles and storytelling techniques.“One of the things that made ‘Wolfwalkers’ unique for us was that we leaned into more expressive styles,” Stewart said.

“We were always inspired by graphic novels and comics, where they could use mark making [applying lines, patterns, and textures to the surface] and different artistic styles to describe the emotions of the characters and the atmosphere of the piece.

They weren’t afraid to change styles from one page to the next, so we thought that maybe we could get away with that in animation, too.

On our

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