Arthouse Garage Podcast

Podcast Transcript for Episode 48: Wolfwalkers

Read the Podcast Transcript for Episode 48: Wolfwalkers

Read the transcript below:

Andrew Sweatman 0:08
Hello, hello and welcome to Arthouse Garage the snob-free movie podcast where we make arthouse indie classic and foreign cinema accessible to the masses. I’m your host, Andrew Sweatman, and we are in the middle of season six of the podcast, which is looking at the best films of 2020. Over the last several episodes, we’ve hit a variety of different movies genres, we’ve looked at documentaries, prestige dramas, and some smaller indie movies. But what we haven’t discussed yet, is an animated film that changes today, as we look at the award winning animated feature wolf walkers. Wolf walkers is a remarkable movie for a number of reasons. It’s from an Irish animation studio called cartoon saloon. You may be aware of their other work their previous films are the secret of Kells song of the sea, and the breadwinner, all of which have received praise from critics and audiences. For their assured storytelling and their beautiful animation. Wolf Walker’s is getting similar praise, and for good reason. It’s a very memorable film, and an absolute feast visually. It’s streaming on Apple TV plus now and it’s absolutely worth watching. My guest today is filmmaker Eric white. Eric has worked on a number of films. And if you’re keyed into the Arkansas film scene at all, you’ve likely seen something he’s worked on. I saw his animated horror short called Little Brother at the Maitland Arkansas Film Festival. And it really made an impression that was a few years ago, I’ve seen a few of his short films. Since then the unbeatable Bixby and other called sun hood, all of which I’ve really enjoyed. He works for Arkansas’s local PBS station AT CTN. And they have been able to produce an exciting kid show during the pandemic called blueberries clubhouse. We talked briefly about all of those projects during our conversation. But all you need to know for now is that Eric White is a really good at what he does. He’s a super nice guy. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about cinema, and animated films in particular. And he has some great thoughts on today’s film. So let’s say hello, welcome to the podcast, Eric white. How are you today? Doing good. Thank you for having me on

Unknown Speaker 2:13

Eric White 2:13
Yeah, I’m so excited to talk about wolf walkers. It’s a movie that I’ve really, really enjoyed. And so there’s a lot to discuss with it. But yeah, I’m excited. So

Andrew Sweatman 2:24
before we get going into that, I thought we’d talk a little bit about you and who you are. I was telling you this, but I wanted to talk about this movie on the podcast. And I reached out to Johnny Brennan, who listeners may recognize that name. He helps run mate in Arkansas, and he’s been on this podcast a couple times. And just knows a lot of people in the area said I want to talk about an animated film. And he said you gotta gotta get Eric white. And I recognized the name because I had seen something of yours at hat made in Arkansas. And it was it was a horror short, little brother. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 3:01
Yes, it was.

Andrew Sweatman 3:02
Yes. And that was a very memorable animated short and then when I looked at your your credit as Oh also seen unbeatable Bixby and I’ve seen son hood, a handful of other things that you’ve had a hand in. So yeah, your your presence here in Arkansas film community. So I’m glad to connect with you on the podcast. But yeah, tell us about yourself and your work. And you have worked in animation before?

Eric White 3:26
Yeah, yeah, no, I’ve been dabbling in animation for a while now. I’m not classically trained in any sort of sense. But it’s gotten so much easier within just even the past like five to six years. So way little brother came about it was all like charcoal on paper, and like stacks and stacks and stacks of papers. That all had to be like scanned in individually and then gone in and removed like, the backgrounds were like foreground because you know, the route animations like done on sales and they overlay those and take a film image but I didn’t have that money to buy or sell so I just did it on white paper and went in and headed out through Photoshop. And so that took like four years to do. Like often on just kind of working here and there. But now like you could do something that link like there was only like a five minute short you could do some of that link in an afternoon if you if you really put your mind to it. Because everything you can do everything digitally now And so yeah, no, it’s just I love doing animation love watching animation. I love love I love all the new stuff the old stuff the the kid stuff or and stuff like, like wolf Walker’s where it’s somewhere in between. Yeah, really like a movie. It’s it’s a movie that’s kind of for everybody, I think.

Andrew Sweatman 4:46
Yeah, it was one I was comfortable watching with my kids, which is the second time I watched it. I was with him and he liked it pretty well. Like they’re pretty young. It’s like a little heavy for them. Maybe but yeah, but before we get into that I want to say to about a little Brother I saw on the big screen actually. So with that movie to the sound design is really incredible. So I want to talk to you about like sound design with animation as we get going. But your current thing that you’re working on it, you have a day job and employed in animation, which is really cool. And you’re working on a show called blueberries clubhouse. Tell us about that and kind of what your role is with it.

Eric White 5:21
Oh, sure. So blueberries clubhouse is a it’s a puppet show that we kind of only got made because of the pandemic of like all the terrible things that’s happened this past year. It was just fortuitous. It was just the stars aligned. And we were able to make something sort of like out of because the schools were closed with a long story. So schools got closed down. So Arkansas PBS started doing on our education stuff for for students that they could like watch at home and learn along with teachers and everything. And then along that way, we partnered with the Arkansas Art Center. Now they’re called the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. Yes, yeah. And because they were looking for an avenue to get some of their teaching out. And you know, we’re we’re always looking for great partners on the community. It seemed like a good fit. So we did a little short that was like a puppet they made like on the fly, and they were gonna, it was like blueberries engineering clubhouse, and they were gonna build like little shadow puppets and everything. And it became like a little segment short. And then from there, like, everyone loved it. So we were just like, what if we just did like a real show? So we pull, we pulled as much money we could together and we’ve got a great team of people over at Arkansas PBS, Levi AG, Taro case who I work with a lot. TJ Burks, Corey Womack, and so many other people I can’t even name and then all the wonderful people with the the Art Center, the amfa, I’ll call them AM, there’s the AM, fa am FA now. So many great people over there just really, really was all just like, the mentality of like wanting to put on a show. And like everyone donating so much time and energy and effort to it. The turnaround was tight, like we would film. We started filming mid July. And we would film an episode and then two weeks later, it would be on air. So we’d film an episode and then have to cut it, do sound animation, everything and then put it right back out with something that I’ve never had to do and hope never have to do again.

Andrew Sweatman 7:26
That quickly. Yeah,

Eric White 7:27
yeah, it was definitely challenging, but super rewarding in a lot of ways. And right now we were working on a season two. Yeah. And so we’ve got we’ve got a little more money, we got a little more time now. So we don’t have to don’t have to kill ourselves. But we’re trying to get all that together. And we’re just in pre production right now. So we haven’t written any scripts yet. But you should look for sometime mid mid July, right before school starts back on Arkansas, PBS and all of our social media sites. That’s

Andrew Sweatman 7:57
so cool. Yeah, it’s so interesting how like the the pandemic has obviously been so hard in so many ways. But there’s always there’s like, creative constraints can sometimes lead to really cool things. And I think that’s a cool example of that. I have young kids, I have a five and a six year old so we are definitely gonna check this out. And so I looked at it a little bit online, so it’s puppets but there also is like an animated portion to each episode.

Eric White 8:21
Yes. So a lot of the we can only afford to build really one puppet which Aaron Larkin with the, with the amfa built for us like on the fly, like built it within like two weeks or something like that, like in like an insane amount of time to build a puppet. But we couldn’t we obviously couldn’t build more than that. So we had to figure out a way to maybe bring in some of blueberries family or like other puppets and stuff like that. So we ended up building a lot of like digital puppets so most of those kind of fell on me because we didn’t have a lot of we didn’t have like a graphics person at the time. But we we wanted to do these sort of like these jokes because the show can get a little heavy at times with a lot of emotion because a lot of it was dealing with being locked inside and so like a metaphor for the pandemic as a whole that you know hopefully kids could could watch and relate to but we wanted to like break it up and throw in some some some fun there are a lot of they’re really like dad jokes but but these are the sort of like creatures that live in the the clubhouse tree and so we get to design these like there’s like a little bird whose name was Robin rip Part A and a squirrel and a couple other things and then blueberries family to like there’s a musca dying character and a an elderberry character. So yeah, they were they were all like drawing digitally and then animated in Adobe Character Animator, which is like so fast and easy to do. Now like you can, you can make something like literally in an afternoon most of these were done. Within like a day, because we didn’t have time to spend much more time on him. Well, I

Andrew Sweatman 10:05
cannot wait to check that out and for season two as well, coming up and yeah, that’s, you know, we’re actually homeschooling now in my house. So it’s, that’s got its own challenges but stuff like this, you know, some educational screen time is really welcome thing because you know, we don’t want to turn the screens on all day but sometimes we need that

Eric White 10:28
the old episodes are on YouTube right now you can turn it on, and you’ll have two hours to yourself or they can watch all four.

Andrew Sweatman 10:36
That’s great. Well, yeah, I will link to all that stuff in the show notes as well as the Fine Arts Center and kind of all the things you were mentioning there. So listeners, you can find all of that and yeah, support local and you know, always love most anything on PBS. So I think it’s great. All right. Without further ado, let’s talk about wolf Walker’s

Unknown Speaker 10:59
wolf wolf.

Unknown Speaker 11:05
Forest is brimming with my job to know yours.

Unknown Speaker 11:11
Bears, dragons, even

Unknown Speaker 11:28
the ones that can talk to magic.

Unknown Speaker 11:35
Now we can smell Yeah. You’re

Unknown Speaker 11:42
You’re a wolf. When

Unknown Speaker 11:43
you see

Unknown Speaker 11:46
a girl when you’re awake.

Unknown Speaker 11:51
Something’s happened to me. Yeah, I can see that. Flipping great.

Unknown Speaker 11:57
You’re a wolf now.

Unknown Speaker 11:59
Be a wolf.

Unknown Speaker 12:09
These worlds they’re just beasts tonight, we

Unknown Speaker 12:12
put an end to this.

Unknown Speaker 12:35
You have to leave.

Andrew Sweatman 12:56
Alright, let’s talk about wolf Walker. So this is an animated film, as we’ve discussed already, and it is an animation style is really incredible. But basically, it tells the story of coming of age story, a young girl named Robin, and she sort of displaced from her home that she’s used to she’s new in this in this Irish town that she and her father are living in her mother’s not there. We don’t know exactly why at first, and we kind of pieced that together as we go. But the town is near a large forest that has a lot of wolves. And so there’s basically this kind of conflict between the townsfolk and the wolves. And then that’s all complicated by the presence of some magical beings called wolf walkers where it’s where we get the title. And it’s you know, it’s a little bit like the myth of the werewolf, but it’s very different as well, doesn’t have those kind of horror connotations. But basically, it’s a people that can transform into wolves. So that’s kind of the basic setup. And it goes on a lot of different places with that. This is from a production studio called cartoon saloon, which this is their fourth feature, and I’ve seen one other but I’ve heard incredible praise for all of the other films they’ve made. That’s the secret of Kells, as well as song of the sea, and the breadwinner of their other films. The breadwinner I watched a few years back and it is really incredible. similar in style. I’d say this one is a little bit more ambitious stylistically. But the breadwinner tells the story of a Muslim family and the daughter has to provide for the family and it’s a it’s a very emotionally it’s it’s a little maybe a little less kid friendly than this one, but a very, very good But anyway, that’s that’s kind of like a little bit of context there. But so I wanted to ask you, Eric as a filmmaker and an animator, what was your impression of kind of the visual style of wolf Walker’s

Eric White 14:51
beautiful like all of it looks amazing. And I would say alone, if you don’t want to see it for any other reason, like I like it. A story that interests me or the characters, I don’t see myself in them or anything like that. Just watch it alone for just how it looks. It is so amazingly like it feels like you’re walking into like a watercolor painting at times. Yeah. And the way they like change that up as the story progresses, and it gets more complicated, and it’s amazing. It’s a visual feast, start to finish.

Andrew Sweatman 15:29
It really is. And I think I had heard that before I even saw the trailer and, and the trailer gave me a sense of that. I was like, Wow, this looks really great. But then when you’re actually watching it, it’s like so immersive, kind of being in this world that yeah, it’s really one of the most beautiful, visually animated things that I’ve seen in a long time. I think there’s several moments where almost a graphic novel asking goes into like multi panels, I guess, it’ll split the screen into three parts, showing different characters reactions to something or there’s a few moments where it’s, it’s like zoomed in, it’s like a zoomed out shot, and then a zoomed in shot at the same exact thing. So we see like one person in the crowd, just really inventive. And that way, there’s a lot of wolves in the film, right. And the way they’re animated is really incredible. They move in this kind of very fluid way. Just really beautiful to watch and, and then also we have characters that are transforming into wolves and back to humans and, and there’s like a lot of great first person, like wolf vision shots and the way that like the visual, it’s kind of has its own motif, I guess when we’re in that, that it looks wholly different. But so, so beautiful. And yeah, again, just really immerses you in this world. So yeah, I think the visuals aren’t really incredible in this movie.

Eric White 16:51
So good. The I was reading about it after I watched it, because I read I watched it, I was like, oh, how did they do any of this stuff? Yeah. And apparently like the wolfvision I was reading but I think was one of the directors is talking about it. It apparently took the entirety of their production time. So like what other people were working on the scenes, like someone was working on that, like three and a half minute section. That was just the just the vision portion of it. And it’s it’s something to,

Unknown Speaker 17:18
man, it’s

Eric White 17:19
good. It’s so good. I don’t I don’t know what else to say. Like,

Andrew Sweatman 17:23
completely agree. Yeah. So I think you’re referencing that there’s like a musical sequence almost not not musical, and that people are singing, but basically, when a character is kind of learning what it’s like to be a wolf and there’s a there’s like a song playing, it’s running with the wolves. And that sequence is so incredible. It’s I’ve gone back and watched just that scene a few times because it’s, it almost is like a music video ask the way the music and the actions on on the screen are kind of synced up together. And it just builds and crescendos and it’s just really, like, when it even just started the first time I started getting goose bumps that is incredible. So yeah, that’s a that’s a great team. That’s fair, that’s fascinating to know that it took so much time, it’s almost like a color swap like it’s, it’s mostly like night and you have these bright kind of trails. It shows how characters can smell as a wolf, like they see with their, you know, sense of smell a little bit. So there’s like, all these kind of trails of like smoke looking things happening, which also was kind of, there’s several things like that were actually the one that I noticed the most there’s a waterfall at one point. And as the waters crashing into the at the bottom, there’s like this mist just kind of floating around. It just looks incredible. So anyway, yes, visually, really, really top notch.

Unknown Speaker 18:42
Right? That’s

Andrew Sweatman 18:43
absolutely a reason to watch this. What about on that? As far as the plot goes, What did you think of the the storytelling and how, how this story was told

Eric White 18:54
this going back to what you kind of touched on a little bit with like, how its told visually and the magic I mean, so on one level, it’s a pretty straightforward story. Like girl wants adventure, which What’s another thing is that usually this type of character in animated kids animated shows in general movies is a male character and that we are given like a female protagonist that we’re following through is I think an interesting and amazing choice because I think this studio Celine has done a lot of this in the past secret of Kells is another one that’s in there sort of like Celtic trilogy, which is amazing as well. I haven’t seen the breadwinner, which I need to watch it. I meant to watch it before we did this podcast.

Andrew Sweatman 19:39
It sounds like we’ve seen like the opposite of their films besides one. Yeah. But Bretton Woods. Great. And I’ve really been wanting to watch the other two. Yeah, go ahead. Right.

Eric White 19:47
So the story itself is straight down the middle like it’s a lot of it is is some of its a little phoned in, in the sense that you can kind of tell maybe where some of the twists are going and and all that sort of stuff, but the way the But that is just like window dressing in a sense, like, yeah, this is what’s going to get us through to the end, this is what’s going to draw your attention along. And then, like, it’s emotional beats, and it’s the manic beats is really what’s like underneath the surface. So like what you were talking about with like the three panel thing, I think that serves a, it serves a thematic and a visual representation of it. It’s like how these characters, it’s not just like a cool shot, but they were like, let’s just do three panels here like this. These are how these people are interpreting the scene that’s happening before their eyes, and how that impacts them. And then how that impacts how they react to each other within the story itself, too. Yeah. So many, like just touching on themes of from from the start of like environmentalism, which is not really like super blatant throughout, like no one says, like, Oh, we got to protect the woods. Yeah, you know, like, the world’s gonna die if we don’t do it, like, but it’s always there. So, and this is striking on on like a second watch. The opening, it opens on these very beautiful vistas of sort of creatures in their own environments, just enjoying nature, and then comes this encroachment of humankind into it, they’re cutting down trees to build things and all that sort of stuff. They’re scared away by the wolves. And then we go back to those exact same shots from the from right before then where the trees are all decimated, and like these creatures are coming back out into it. And so there’s all these like visual cues of like environmentalism, and preserving like nature that that don’t really get like, blatantly said throughout the movie. Another one is the tree that they that they constantly go to, to sit on and talk, as it slowly becomes torn down throughout the movie, which is a symbol for growing up and breaking, you know, childish things, I guess. But same time, it’s just just reinforcing that like, the way humans have shaped that part of the world. And it’s weird to i was i was read a lot about this while I was preparing for this podcast, and that wolves are completely wiped out in Ireland, because of this time period. And so I think I read an interview with one of the writers, and he was the director, who talked a lot about like folklore, and how, how they kind of lost a lot of that because of how the world had changed, changed in that time period, where wolves were basically hunted and got rid of and so it’s sort of like losing parts of their their history in a way because it’s, it’s gone and can’t ever get it back.

Andrew Sweatman 22:44
That’s really interesting. I didn’t know all of that about Wolf’s actually being gone. There’s a almost like a throwaway line in that may says so. We are Robin is the main character in her father’s is a big character as well. And then Mavis, the wolf Walker girl with a big red here, such an interesting character designed here. But then she has this line at one point about St. Patrick. I know what maybe it’s one of the townspeople who says this, like when they are kind of, they’re very afraid there’s kind of like a lot of folk tales about what’s going on in the woods. But one of them says something about St. Patrick, you know, made a made a deal with the pagan gods or something back in the day, like a long time ago. And we’re like chopping down the trees were breaking that commitment. Yeah. And like, that’s why we’re in danger. So I thought it was interesting. And then I was just looking around on Amazon, there’s like a few different there’s like a graphic novel that they’ve made since the movie came out, and Oh, cool. And like a book about the artwork. But I just clicked on the graphic novel, and just like clicked on a little preview thing, thinking it’s just going to be the story of the movie, but it opens with St. Patrick. And he’s doing so I guess there’s like some interesting backstory there. So I’m curious to check that out. I liked this movie enough that I might like, buy that and have a look at it. But that that was an interesting point of it, too. But yeah, like what you’re saying about the it’s some of these things. It’s made clear, but it’s not overdone. The way environmentalism is there. I think, too, there’s kind of an interesting religious theme throughout this. So there’s, and then just the political, it all kind of ties together really nicely, I think. So there’s like a political situation that I don’t completely understand. But basically, England is the colonizer, they’re kind of taking power. And so there’s this Lord Protector, and then Robin, her father, and Lord protectors is the villain here and he, you know, hates the wolves. He wants to tame them. He wants to, you know, have power over nature. And he again, it’s not overdone, but he talks about how, you know, this is God’s will for us that that we, the land would submit to us and he, at one point, he actually like he’s praying and asking God, God, what do we do? And then he like, answers, the prayer himself is like, here’s what we’re gonna do. This is what you want me to do. There’s just like this whole idea of speaking for God and knowing what he wants and how dangerous that could be. But yeah, he’s a he’s a good villain. In that sense, yeah,

Eric White 25:01
for sure. And I think, to what you’re saying about authoritarianism and this sort of, which is, which is heady stuff for like a just a regular movie. Yeah. But much less a movie that’s designed around the whole family can watch and everything. But this sort of idea of like questioning authority and like Runwell, the Lord overseer is like a perfect example of someone who is sort of like indoctrinated into it and believes it even if he doesn’t believe it, like he is asking for it. But he knows what the answer is going to be. Because he he dictates that he is his will his law. But by convert by inverse of that is the there’s a there’s a scene with the with a dad and Robin. And she asked him like, Why Why are you doing this? And he’s just says because I’m afraid. And and the idea of doing stuff, not questioning authority, but just doing stuff because you you don’t know any better. And you’re afraid of what consequences come from it is like, Well,

Andrew Sweatman 26:03
yeah, like, absolutely. And it really it shows well, like so there’s this this power dynamic coming from the Lord Protector to her father, directly. And then what her father does out of fear, like, in his actions are all completely like, totally believable. That’s what he would do. But you see the weight really negatively affects his family, and their whole lives and his job and all of that. Yeah, I think it does that. Well. There’s almost a visual motif there too. Like, he always has fire. The villain does it he has like a torch. And then there’s a few moments where when Robins fire is getting really angry at her and kind of yelling, like you can’t go back out into the woods. Like the background around him kind of goes red and gets this like Shadow he feels very much the same. It’s like this, this power and fear dynamic kind of coming back in subtly, I thought that was really nice touch to you.

Eric White 26:51
Oh, yeah, all that. And this goes back to sort of like visual motifs and just visual style too. But they whenever characters get angry there is this like encroachment of darkness that comes spilling in on the sides of the screen. So it’ll go from like a 16 by nine image to this like four three image. Yeah, and I didn’t I didn’t notice the first time either. I guess. I was just too involved in the story the first time. Like, rewatch it, I was like, oh, wow, like, completely blew me away first that I didn’t notice it the first time and then that is such like a strong interesting choice to convey like emotion through these like animated characters. Because sometimes that is like hard to to get an emotional response out of something that is completely drawn. In that it’s, you’re sort of like riding in that uncanny valley of like words just just just human enough to like, believe in but never gonna look photorealistic. Which I think this is something that this movie does really well is take these little stylistic flourishes and ground them in this human drama.

Andrew Sweatman 27:58
Yeah. And that’s a that’s a great transition to to talk about the performances, because I think the voice performances are a big part of that, too. So what did you think about the the voice works? We have Sean Bean as the Father. And then two young actors I didn’t know before this as Robin and made their names our honor. nipsey and Eva Whitaker.

Eric White 28:19
But I’m glad you said their names because I would have butchered that. I

Andrew Sweatman 28:21
may have butchered them. Sorry if I did. But yeah, there. What do you think of there? Oh,

Eric White 28:26
no, they, from the start. Like there’s a there’s a there’s a lot of like, I keep saying children’s entertainment. There’s a lot of what animated movies and stories and stuff where they either the kids are voiced by adults. I mean, Bobby hills, like a good example of that or like the Simpsons, yeah. Where they’re voiced by adults and trying to be kids, but these are like from the get go or like I wrote it down. Like, as soon as I heard it, I was like, these are kids voicing kids. And they are so good. Like, so good. Like, I had never heard of either either one of the actresses before before this and may or Eva is a virtual like, unknown hasn’t really done much outside of her. Amazing because there are so many people who can perform physically in the sense that they are there on stage or in a movie and like they can read body language and stuff like that. But the be able to convey like subtlety in visual expressions and to have that be translated in animation is spectacular.

Andrew Sweatman 29:28
Yeah, yes, absolutely. You know, a few kind of like, touchstones for this that I kept thinking of it. One was Game of Thrones, just because not being there. And also, I think that scene, there’s a great scene like a sort of an epic scene sort of in the middle, when the Lord Protector is trying to show the wolf on stage. And it really reminded me of a scene in Game of Thrones, just because the crowd is there watching and there’s a lot of drama happening on the stage. So there’s that but then I played the Zelda video games a lot growing up and I just always think of that when anything remotely like Celtic, but I think in the world building way this is like it, it reminded me of that. But then also Princess Mononoke as the yeah Joby film be just because a lot of the environmental stuff is there. And sort of the the, in this movie townie versus forest dweller, she always calls Robin a townie and that kind of gets back to their, their performances too. Because Robin as our lead is so her voice performance is really kind of like pretty put together and but curious and innocent, but then maybe is so incredible, because she her character is this, you know, wild, wild animal basically. And that so much comes through in her voice performance too. It’s really amazing and, and she talks like a child like she calls her her mummy she’s always talking about and that kind of thing. But but there’s this wild kind of gravel Enos to her voice and also so very Irish sounding.

Unknown Speaker 30:53

Andrew Sweatman 30:54
that yeah, it’s really it’s a perfect performance. I think.

Eric White 30:57
Right now, all of it feels very coming coming from those from our two leads and all that feels very genuine. Like kids would say these things, like none of it feels like an adult interpretation of what a kid would say. Yeah. A lot of it rings very true to that sort of just like how kids speak. Yeah, especially in a situation like this where they don’t really understand things but they they’re willing to go along with them because it’s you know, it’s magic and you become a wolf at night. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Andrew Sweatman 31:27
So kind of along the lines of the performances I think just the sound design in general is really good like there’s a lot of there’s like when the crowd you hear the crowd, I first time I was I had wireless headphones in so I was watching and I was just kind of in it and it was a good way to experience this. But then the music too I think is really amazing. That just the score throughout but then there’s a couple of songs I think there’s the one in the the running with the wolves sequence and then there’s one in the credits. Which the singer I looked up the singer Her name is Aurora and I think she’s from roughly from that part of the world. The only other thing I knew from speaking of animated movies frozen to she is on the into the unknown song she’s like the the voice from the wilderness that’s in the movie, you know, but yeah, so that’s that they paid a lot of money to have a name do that right. Which is funny but yeah, same same person. So

Eric White 32:19
yeah, little Long’s the same one right but along those same lines to like a want to say like I will a different studio would have had like a pop song there. Yeah, I mean, like it Yeah, if this was like a mainstream like movie for general audience like Rihanna would have came in there and had had a song about it, but I love that it felt it felt it doesn’t really feel out of place. like yeah, it seems like a continuation of what you were talking about with the music going forward to that point. And then just like the sound design in general to is is spectacular, like the all the crowd stuff. And like all the things near the end, where they’re in the waterfall and the the fire and like all of the the men are hunting in the woods are just so crisp and clean, and frightening. very frightening. For a movie like this, like I like I watched it and I watched it again and then I immediately was like I really wish this would have been released in theaters. I would have loved to have seen it like on a big screen. Yeah, real nice sound. But maybe someday maybe we’ll get him if it’s ever replaced in

Andrew Sweatman 33:25
the theater. I’m going I’m taking me out to me. Yeah, absolutely.

Eric White 33:29
I there was one last thing I’d like to talk about. In this kind of goes back to the like animation style, in that everything feels like it was all drawn at the same time. Which a lot of a lot of like Amethyst, particularly like older animated films. Just because of how the process worked. You had some guy drawing foreground characters and someone else was drawing background characters and there’s a clear, clear like separation there where you can see like this person’s foreground this person background if they go to pick up something like cook like cups gonna look a little different, a little weird at first interesting. And this everything just like blended together so seamlessly with like, I don’t know if they did like lighting and posts if they went in like digitally, like altered some of the stuff but everything just like looked seamless, which is hard and amazing. Like, I don’t understand how they do it. And I’m super jealous of them. But so, so good visually.

Andrew Sweatman 34:25
Yes, absolutely. This is one that has really stuck with me. I didn’t see it till after the end of the year. It was 2021 by the time I watched it, or this probably would have been in my top 10 of last year. But yeah, really, really highly recommend it. It sounds like you do as well. Yeah. That is wolf walkers. You can watch it on Apple TV Plus, it’s worth doing like a free week or whatever trial just to watch this. You can i think is it’s definitely it’s definitely definitely worth seeing and yeah, Hope it hope it gets that big screen release one day. That’ll be that’ll be amazing. Fingers crossed on that. Well, thank you Eric so much for joining me today. I think it’s been a great conversation and I can’t wait to, to get this one out there and hope to have you back sometime soon,

Eric White 35:04
too, for sure. anytime you want. You want me to come back anytime I will come back and talk with you about anything you want to talk about. This is my first podcast. So you great should be into it. And I’m happy to return anytime.

Andrew Sweatman 35:17
That’s great. Because there always are like animated things. I mean, I watch a lot of animated stuff because I have kids and I wish I could talk with some of the podcasts. So now I’ve got a go to person. Perfect. Yeah. Big, big thanks to Eric white again for being here today. I really enjoyed this conversation. And I hope to have him back again,

very soon. We’ve got some exciting episodes coming up. Up next is going to be Boise State. That’s a documentary about hundreds of 17 year old boys putting on democracy basically at a camp. This is interesting because I actually attended Arkansas boy state, the film is about Texas boy state. And then I also have someone on the podcast discussing that who was not raised in the United States. So I think we have an interesting conversation. Can’t wait for you guys to hear that one. After that. We’ve got some other plans in development. Nothing concrete just yet, but we hope to talk about the movie menari the new a 24 film about an immigrant family in Arkansas. And then I’m probably also going to discuss the film Martin Eden which is an Italian film that is streaming now on movie and making a lot of waves. Thank you so much for listening to art house garage. We’ve got a few years worth of episodes now you can hear all of those in your podcast app of choice. Our theme music is by composer Paul human Feld. Learn more at if you want to support art house garage, you can leave a rating or review in your podcast app. Or you can buy an art house garage t shirt at stay in the loop about arthouse garage and the films we’re covering by subscribing to our email newsletter by going to or you can email me directly And of course follow on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and letterbox just search at art house garage in all those places or you find links in the show notes. And that will do it for this episode. Thank you again so much for listening. And until next time, keep it snob free

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Andrew Sweatman

Andrew is a writer, podcaster, and film lover who wants to help people think critically about movies. He lives in central Arkansas with his wife Allison and two children, Rosie & Beau. Andrew is the Senior Editor at Arthouse Garage and a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA). Find him at and on Twitter and Instagram: @ArthouseGarage.

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