Apple just signed two movie deals — and they star wolves and elephants

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Techhnews

Apple closed deals for two movies this week: an animated film and a documentary.

Both films are geared toward families. The consumer electronics giant now has the rights to Wolfwalkers, an animated movie from Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions. Director Tomm Moore tweeted about the acquisition Monday. 

The film follows a young hunter named Robyn who goes to Ireland with her dad to get rid of the last pack of wolves, who are seen as demonic. After Robyn saves a wild native girl named Mebh, she discovers the world of the Wolfwalkers and becames what she came to destroy. 

Apple also acquired the global rights to the documentary feature The Elephant Queen, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. It’s directed by Victora Stone and Mark Deeble, and narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor. The movie stars an elephant mother named Athena, who goes out of her way to protect her family when they’re forced to leave their waterhole. 

It’s not yet clear whether the films will be released in theaters, Bloomberg reported. 

Apple has hinted at its TV ambitions, but until now hasn’t pushed as strongly into the feature film industry. Still, it’s signed big-name deals with Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg, among many others. Its growing list of TV shows includes Little Voice (with J.J. Abrams) and Dickinson, a comedy inspired by the life of poet Emily Dickinson. Still, Apple hasn’t made clear where viewers will be able to access all this content. 

The company reportedly plans to spend around $1 billion on new entertainment content over the next year. Apple has previously acquired documentaries for Apple Music and iTunes, but Wolfwalkers and The Elephant Queen are the first films acquired by its worldwide video team.

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