Wolfwalkers directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart on the inspiration for their magical animation

The animated hit from this year’s London Film Festival gets its big release this week, courtesy of Apple TV+.

Wolfwalkers comes from Dublin animation outfit Cartoon Saloon and re-unites long-term collaborators Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, who made The Secret Of Kells and The Song Of The Sea, but sees them directing together for the first time.

For their new animation, they blend history with mythology to tell the story of two girls who form an unlikely friendship in the Ireland of 1650. The headstrong Robyn lives with her father, a soldier in the English Puritan army which has been charged with defending Kilkenny from marauding packs of wolves threatening people and livestock alike. Mebh is one of the wolfwalkers of the title, part girl and part wolf, blessed with the power of healing. And the two come together when the wolves are under attack from the army.

Talking to The People’s Movies Freda Cooper, the two directors reminisce about their lengthy friendship, which started at school, the different styles of animation in the film and what inspired some of them – particularly Studio Ghibli’s The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. They also talk about the film being seen on the small screen instead of in cinemas.

Wolfwalkersis on Apple TV+ from 11 December. | Read our review of the film here.