Release the Sea Dragons!


When Andrew Peterson and Chris Wall began talking about turning the Wingfeather books into an animated series, I remember thinking, Wow, that’s a great idea—but let’s be serious guys…

Two years later, here we are premiering the animated short film (both pilot and proof-of-concept) and it’s everything I hoped it would be and more. The team could have set out to make something simpler, like a Saturday morning cartoon, and while I know they could have managed that, I’d have been disappointed. The simplicity of that kind of animation wouldn’t have lived up to my inner-eye’s picture of the world and the characters, and while it would have been a fine accomplishment, it might have fallen short of its real potential.

On the other hand, they might have chosen to chase the Pixar-style (of animation) with its wildly expensive sheen of cinematic perfection that requires hundreds of people and gazillions of dollars. If that had been their tack the result might have looked like a good try or a noble effort visually, and the story, no matter how good, might have been missed in the comparison.

But part of what makes this film so special is the vision the team has developed and stuck to. It’s neither a cheap cartoon, nor a fully-CGI Pixar-knockoff. It’s something entirely other. And by daring to be different, it becomes something wholly it’s own.

I wasn’t part of the process and Andrew only rarely shared anything with me, so as the final product came together, it was a surprise to discover what they’d been up to. I heard rumblings of wanting to create a new animation process, something that would be more efficient than industry norms, but that would look like a painting set in motion. I’d seen the promotional artwork and assumed it was the same as those “Art of Star Wars” kind of books you see at Barnes & Noble, full of stylistic concepts that are WAY cooler than what makes it into the final film. So I was amazed to see the final animation and discover that the WAY cooler stuff is actually what makes up the entire film here.

I actually stepped through most of the film a frame at a time and marveled at how nearly every one could be framed and hung on your wall. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I think it falls somewhere along a spectrum between Song of the Sea‘s immaculate compositions and hand-drawn art and The Box Trolls‘ avant garde character designs and stop motion animation.

But if it’s the gorgeous artwork and animation style that draws me in, it’s the film-making and the writing that keeps me in my seat. Those who have read the books will understand better than others just how densely this little 15-min short is packed with character development, world-building, and foreshadowing. That’s a hard thing to pull off, and the film does it effortlessly without sacrificing meaningful character moments or heart or a sense of mystery. It manages to be fun and engaging while conveying an enormous amount of information that the viewer is going to need as the larger story unfolds. I love it. And most of all, I want more. I want to see how these versions of these beloved characters grow and mature as they hurtle toward the ends of their incredible personal story arcs. I want to see how the Green Hollows and Clovenfast and the Ice Prairies translate into this incredible visual medium. The possibilities are so exciting I get a little teared up just thinking about them.

So if you, like me, want to see how the story ends, share the video, send it to your friends, post it on your social media feeds, make the kids sit down and watch it. The more people we can get to want the next episode, the closer to reality it becomes. I know the team is working hard to figure out the next steps, and every time you share it it’s a vote in their favor.

So congratulations to the folks at Shining Isle Productions. You’ve made something amazing. I want more. And I know I’m not the only one.


Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. Paul Thomas

    So proud to be a miniscule part of this project through Kickstarter!  I have shown the video to any and all who are willing to give me 15 of their precious minutes.  So far, all thumbs up—and wanting more!

    Thanks for all the hard work—-the Kingdom has been made richer.

  2. H. E. Riley

    It was so beautiful! I’ve had it playing practically on repeat today and I noticed something new every time. A masterpiece.

  3. Linda Rogers


    I love the story, and was most concerned that the characters and the story come through well. But not only did this do a great job with the story, it was really visually interesting and beautiful at the same time. I also tried freezing it at different points to enjoy the artwork aspect of it, and it was rare to find one that I would not want to put on my wall as art. It is amazing how well made this is.

  4. Esther Blake

    WOW. I am so impressed how this short-film came out. It is amazing. It follows the story line well. It has fantastic illustration. Thank you so much for this video and hope it comes out well for you. Thank so much and God’s blessings as you enter this New Year and new season in the wonderful plan God has for and your team. Blessings, Esther

  5. Esther Blake

    Wow. I am so impressed. May God bless you in the New Year, as you move in a new direction. I love the rabbit room. Thank you adn may the peace of Jesus be with you in everything you do.

  6. Esther Blake

    I am so impressed. It follows the story line well. I love it. May Gods blessings be upon you in this New Year. Thank you and blessings.

  7. Marti Ferguson

    WOW! This turned out so great! I read the books about three years ago and I’ve been waiting for the short film to come out for a long time. I looks amazing! I love how it captures the same emotions I felt when reading the books. I’m looking forward to seeing it a series.

  8. AdamG


    Love this story!! I’ve been following the illustrations for some time and really like how the short film turned out. This has inspired me to read the books…Great job, guys!

  9. Mike BROWN

    Watched it last night. Can’t wait for my grandson to see it. And yes we look forward to more. Its so close to the books and its always great to see images come to life. I’ve always wondered what Peet the SockMan looked like.

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