Plant and Nature Motifs in Cartoon Saloon Movies (Article in Comments)

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3 Responses to Plant and Nature Motifs in Cartoon Saloon Movies (Article in Comments)

  1. ghayes says:

    (Last one I promise. Also this one originally had images from the movie to show as examples and I can’t comment images so alas, if you want to see images you’re going to have to google them yourself)
    With lots of animated film, the development team behind the style of the movie usually reference other art styles and cultures to create the visual language for the film. The Irish based studio Cartoon Saloon and director Tomm Moore’s work on films with the studio has a heavy emphasis on natural motifs and referencing different kinds of organic plant imagery combined with different art created in Ireland like early woodblock painting and Catholic Illuminated manuscript artwork.

    Secret of the Kells
    Secret of the Kells was a film focused on a boy named Brendan who lived in the monastery in Kells during the period of Irish history where monasteries were often attacked by Northmen and Viking invaders. The story focuses on Brendan helping a newcomer to the abby, a master illuminator named Brother Aiden, and retrieving materials to help Brother Aiden complete the Illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Iona, later names the Book of Kells. With the importance of the Book of Kells, an actual Illuminated manuscript, the movie borrows Celtic art found within the pages of the book of Kells like know patterns, swirls and geometric designs and infuse it into the natural world in the film, creating elaborate designs of curling vines, knotted trunks and stylized creatures like the wolves.

    Wolfwalkers takes place during the reign of Oliver Cromwell and the English occupation of Ireland, so very similarly the studio used art from the time to create a distinct style. Similar to Secret of Kells, the wild woods outside the town of Kilkenny in the film are portrayed with similarly loose and natural watercolors, while the town and townspeople are portrayed in a sharp contrasting style based on early woodblock print. The town itself is portrayed in a much heavier, geometric style, with darker, thicker lines and sometimes color outside the lines, mimicking that old wood block print style and keeping the organic, handmade feeling that made woodblock print distinct.

  2. wcturgeon says:

    The Secret of Kells is a lovely animation.

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