Going into this film, I am not the biggest Witcher fan. As not as strong of a video game person as I used to be due to my visual sickness when playing games these days or even as strong as a reader as I could be, I’ve only watched the Netflix series The Witcher. So yeah, that means I have a small, small look into the world of The Witcher and yet I am very excited for season 2 to appear. With that said, that is only partially why we are here. There was a certain animated movie produced by studio Mir that needs talking about and it happens to be about The Witcher. They are one of my favorite production studios when it comes to animation. I’ve always wondered what it would look like If Studio Mir produced a movie and that is what happened. Let’s dig into it a bit.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a prequel film to the live action series the Witcher. This is something easily found out by the fact that in the Witcher, the very idea that Witchers are going extinct. Geralt is one of the last ones. This film is about what led to that happening. Following a Witcher by the named Vessemir. One of the Witchers who is definitely not helping with carrying the reputation of his clan to a high level because he is a scum bag. The first scene featured him saving a noble child, yes, but also stealing money off the corpses of his family after he defeated the monster in question.
What is a Witcher is a very important thing to consider in this story because Nightmare of the Wolf takes place in two timelines. A Witcher is a human cursed with magic that not only enhances their physical abilities and allows them live for a very long time. Half the story is based on Vessemir’s childhood where we see how he got to where he was and half the story is Vessemir many years later who is a scum bug slowly shaping up after the world around him is explored more. Yeah, the kid grew up poor so of course he is going ot selfish about what he wants. The additional complications regarding the reason why there have been more monsters for Witchers to fight is there too. It’s a really cruel resolution.
The large number of monsters in this world are the reason why Vessemir isn’t immediately killed. There is some political discussions in this film concerning The Witcher’s livelihood. Tetra, the insanely powerful mage who is a complete bad ass, asks her king to stop the support of the Witcher agenda. The only defense available to this king is the elderly Illyana, Vessemir’s former childhood sweet heart, who is for a more central to positive position to the Witcher king. Seeing Tetra and Vessemir working together does add a lot of interesting complications in the narrative of this film. As in, very good because their dynamic is certainly something that adds a lot ot the texture of this movie. This movie is well thought out because Illyana’s relationship with Vessemire is very well explored too.
With all the world building and characters all over the place in the novel, including some racism against elves in which Vessemir and the film are clearly up against, the main fault of this film is there is barely any breathing room for any of it. I mean, baby Geralt appears in the film to and that just adds to the lore of this film that already has a lot of fantasy lore in it. There is some breathing room here and there, but Nightmare of the Wolf is very gogogo. Not a bad thing because the narrative of the film itself is rather simple even if its out of order in a way to create intrigue. Just not as good as it could be and that’s ok.
Visually, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is so stunning. Studio Mir’s series always look so fantastic, but seeing those resources put into a movie is exceptional. All of their work they could do for their series is focused and amplified in some many ways. The art style is more detailed, the world is more filled out then ever before, and animation is way more on point then usual. I suppose that I don’t have a lot of negatives to say about Nightmare of the Wolf. So yeah, solid film. Very well done and crafted all around. Would give a high recommendation for those who know something about The Witcher, tv series or everything else.