Apple acquires feature-length documentary and animated movie

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Apple's original content catalog is getting even better.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has acquired the rights to two feature-length films as part of its original content efforts. The first is a feature documentary, titled The Elephant Queen of Athena, while the second is an animated film called Wolfwakers.

The Elephant Queen of Athena was opened up to buyers earlier this year at the European Film Market in Berlin, Germany. Following the story of an elephant matriarch who leads her family on journey across Africa in search of food and water, it’s been likened to 2005’s highly successful March of the Penguins.

Wolfwakers, meanwhile, is the work of two-time Oscar-nominated Tomm Moore. Trade publication Deadline describes it as follows:

“In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, Mebh, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the Wolfwalkers and transform her into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.”

Apple’s original content ambitions

Apple currently has more than 20 original series in various states of development. However, as we noted last week, while Apple has aggressively pursued high profile TV series to acquire, it has previously been less aggressive when it comes to feature films: making this deal more notable.

Apple execs are currently in Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs through September 16. With that in mind, expect to hear more news about Apple acquisitions in the days to come.

The company has yet to reveal how it plans to distribute this content, although popular theories range from giving it away to users for free to launching its own Netflix-style streaming subscription service. Perhaps we’ll hear more at tomorrow’s Apple keynote event…