I loved Netflix's live action take on the Witcher series, and this animated movie didn't disappoint either. If you like violent shows, the dark fantasy genre, and watching badass guys taking out monsters, then this is for you.
The story was captivating and kept me hooked the whole time, the fight scenes were alright, the story telling and the animation especially strongly reminded me of Castlevania, which I loved as well. If you're a fan of Castlevania, Hellsing, Berserk, or anything like it, chances are, you'll enjoy this movie and the Witcher franchise in general. Another thing that I found pretty cool, Theo James who voiced Hector in Castlevania also voices Vesemir in this movie. I wish the characters had some more development, though, they were pretty underdeveloped, but that doesn't come off as surprising considering this was a mere 1 hr, 20 min movie.
Studio Mir, the South Korean animation studio that gave us Legend of Korra, Voltron, Dota: Dragon's Blood, Big Fish and Begonia (a masterpiece), and now Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, has really been upping its game lately. Can't wait to see what else they got in store for us.
The Witcher is a series I have grown to love, ever since reading all of the novels by Sapkowski in their book release in English. As well as playing a huge chunk of the 3rd Witcher game, and watching my brother play it and the other games. Now you're probably thinking that since I'm a fan, that means I enjoyed the Netflix movie. I won't deny that there were some fun moments, but ultimately I felt disappointed.
SPOILERS WARNING since this will be covering story and characters from the movie.
Story- The story is how I would best describe as a fanfiction(or filler if you want to use anime terms), since the original author had absolutely no involvement in the making of the movie. Anyway, the story focuses on Geralt's mentor Vesemir during his childhood and early years as a Witcher. It also covers the Invasion of Kaer Morhen, the attack intended to wipe out all of the Witchers. Unfortunately, seeing how the movie is only 83 minutes, it just didn't feel properly built up to well enough.
First off, there are so many events that play out super quickly. Vesemir killing a Leshen in the opening scene, the Kaedwani King debating to kill the Witchers, Vesemir's childhood flashback that also felt short. We are introduced to Illyana, Vesemir's childhood love interest and Deglan, Vesemir's mentor. Later on Vesemir has to work with Tetra, another new character to kill a basilisk and to deal with Kitsu.
Its at this point that Vesemir finds out that monsters are being created artificially and he confronts his mentor. Then its Tetra who tells the king that the Witchers are responsible for the monsters and is given permission to attack Kaer Morhen. The story beats make sense, but there is hardly enough time spent to make these events feel natural.
Animation- Animation is by far one of the best parts to the movie, not going to lie. Its pretty obvious that the budget was spent considerably in that area, but knowing Netflix it makes sense.
Sound- The music is alright for the movie, but its not near the level of the TV series' OSTs. The voice-acting is a bit of an odd case. Its like there's an uneven level of voice acting, but then again its easy to say Netflix is at fault. That being said, there are some stand-outs, like Theo James voicing Vesemir. He also voiced Hector from the Castlevania anime, which I know he did pretty awesome.
There's also Graham McTavish, the voice for Deglan, who also voiced Dracula for the Castlevania anime. Those for the most part were the voices that stood out to me.
Characters- The characters that were introduced during the movie, the ones that are very new, were for the most part standard. They're not bad, they just didn't get a lot of development to leave a big impression on me. We have Deglan, Vesemir's teacher, who does questionable things to achieve his own ends. Then we have Luka, who is Vesemir's work partner. And that's all he's remembered for honestly, before he gets martyred.
Illyana is most likely one of the better characters in the movie, mostly because of her connection to Vesemir. And a reminder of everything he use to have and lost. Tetra is most definitely the worst character in the movie. Not only because she triggered the Invasion of Caer Morhen, but because she did it for a reason that felt typical. Blaming all Witchers for the one Witcher that killed her mother feels cheap honestly.
Any writer can use revenge in their stories, but experience hugely detemines how well received it is by audiences. At the very least, putting it in a 83 minute movie doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
Overall- Seeing the movie twice only confirms that Netflix should have spent more time working on the movie. I know people watched this to fill the void since the Castlevania anime finished its 4th season. But there are definitely better things to watch than this movie. Its not the worst I've seen, but you'll wish you used the time to do something more productive. Like the Witcher games, the show, or even the novels.
I mean it was okay...
Honestly this is nothing in comparrison to the live action or anything else. It doesn't fit right and it all just feels off. I don't know how to describe it, the story line just feels forced and idk. It was okay but it was slow. It's an hour and a half movie it shouldn't be slow. idk watch if u wanna waste some time but I wouldn't recommend to anyone who has watched/read anything to do with witchers.