High in the Clouds
High in the Clouds is a hardcover children’s adventure novel by Paul McCartney and Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Geoff Dunbar. When machines belonging to the evil Gretsch destroy the woods that are their home, Wirral the squirrel and his friends journey to legendary Animalia and begin a campaign to free the enslaved animals of Megatropolis.
As writer/producer and animator/director, McCartney and Dunbar had collaborated on the 1984 animated film Rupert and the Frog Song, they spent years scripting and sketching High in the Clouds to be another film.
When the characters’ home, Woodland, is attacked by human development, a young squirrel (Wirral) is left without a home and without his mother. Guided by his mother’s final words and aided by his fellow animal friends he meets on his journey, Wirral goes on a quest for the secret island sanctuary of Animalia. Wirral finds himself in an epic journey filled with evil realities and wild dreams. He and his friends experience tragedy, war, joy and victory, all in the name of freedom and peace.
The book has an overall theme of preserving nature and letting animals live free and in their natural habitat. In The Observer it was described as “a tale about the perils of unchecked global capitalism.”