I’ve watched this movie five times in the last three weeks since its release. I know it may seem like a pittance, but I’m someone who often only rewatches a movie once or twice a year at most. Five times in three weeks is a lot. The last time I did that it was one of the Star Wars movies. Needless to say, I loved this movie. The music, animation, voice acting, and most importantly for a writer such as myself, the writing is excellent. Every single character is brilliantly portrayed both visually and audibly. Everything about the film is just *chef’s kiss* brilliant. “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” is probably my favorite movie of the year, despite its nicheness and status as an animated flick that just breaks the feature-length time limit.
There are still a couple of burning questions though. The first is for the lore heads. Is the movie lore compliant with that of the books, or even the games? The answer? Kinda. The name of Vesemir’s master and the other named witchers in this movie is inaccurate. However, the important stuff; the lore of the world, the magic, and the politics are all done right. The second coal burning under many is the question of where it fits in the timeline of the books, show, and games. Based on the shape of the medallions, we can safely assume it does not take place in the timeline of the games, or even the books. It is in fact a prequel to the Henry Cavill-led live-action series, also produced by Netflix and led by the same showrunner. Little details like that make it easier to parse the separate adapted timelines that are now present.
As for the actual content of the film, I can sing only its praises. Young Vesemir as a carefree mercenary serves as a great contrast to the reluctant heroism that Geralt and aged Vesemir will eventually do. The plot of the film is great too, as it helps fill in the gaps as to why the school of the wolf was decimated, and why Geralt’s group of witchers will probably be the final graduating class at the school full stop. The story here is a real treat for fans of the franchise as well, with strong ties to the world’s mythology. The writing is top-notch, easily on par with franchise creator Andrej Sapkowski’s, and the best of CD project Red’s storytelling in the games. There’s clearly a love for this franchise that comes through in every vibrantly drawn and performed second.
The absolute best part of the film is that it’s both an excellent starting point for newcomers as well as offering plenty of meat to bite into for longtime fans. Every kind of fan will find something to love, and I am beyond stoked for how Netflix will continue to expand their version of the best fantasy world this side of Lord of the Rings.