Apple just signed its first movies as part of its $1 billion content push

Cartoon Saloon/YouTube‘Wolfwalkers’ is an upcoming animated film from Cartoon Saloon.
  • Apple has acquired two family-friendly feature films in its recent push into video content, “Wolfwalkers” and “The Elephant Queen.”
  • “Wolfwalkers” is an upcoming film from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
  • “The Elephant Queen” is a nature documentary narrated by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Apple has bought the rights to its first films animated film and a nature documentary, both targeted at families.

Bloomberg reported in June that Apple was in talks to buy a film from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, known for “The Breadwinner.” On Monday Cartoon Saloon’s cofounder Tomm Moore confirmed the deal on Twitter.

“Wolfwalkers” is still in development, and Cartoon Saloon is still listing jobs for the project. A conceptual trailer shows the story of a young girl whose father is a wolf hunter, and who comes to Ireland and makes friends with a wild girl and is “transformed into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.”

“The Elephant Queen” is already complete, and premiered in Toronto on Saturday. It followes the story of an elephant matriarch named Athena, who has to fend for her herd when they are forced to leave their waterhole, and is narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor of “12 Years a Slave” fame.

Previously Apple’s move into video seemed more focused on television, as it brought on former “Breaking Bad” executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to head up the project. With these acquisitions announced, Apple’s video ambitions are clearly broader. The company has set its content budget at a whopping $US1 billion to commission original TV shows and films.

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