Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Runtime: 103 Minutes
Main Cast: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Tommy Tiernan, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Plot: Trying to settle in their new home in Ireland, Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) is desperate to join her father outside the city walls in hunting down the wolves who live in the woods. After sneaking out she meets Mebh, a young Wolfwalker looking for her mother.
My Thoughts: I love Disney. I grew up with Disney movies and I have them to thank for my love of animation. They continue to make fantastic movies – but I miss the older styles of animation that we don’t see in the mainstream studios anymore. Wolfwalkers is absolutely stunning, every single frame looks like a piece of art to be hung on the wall. It somehow looks so simple, but full of intricate details at the same time. You really have to see it to believe it.
This is the kind of movie I want to introduce my daughter to when her attention span is longer than an episode of Blippi! It’s about love, family, friendship, accepting others for who they are, and being open to a world of possibilities. Robyn is headstrong and determined, and will stop at nothing to help her family and friends. Mebh is wild and carefree, and yet guarded at the same time. They’re both really well developed characters and more importantly, great role models for children to look up to. Wolfwalkers is definitely more of a children’s movie but it’s a perfect one.
I don’t know what kind of chance it stands for the major award ceremonies. It’s certainly picked up a lot of attention from smaller critics groups, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t even know the movie existed. The Academy doesn’t seem to give smaller studios a second thought, I don’t think an indie animation has won in the last 10 years. BAFTA are much more open minded, I cried a little when Klaus (2019) won last year so PLEASE BAFTA – do the right thing!
Best Bit: I love the transformation from person to wolf. It must be so difficult to portray the magic in a 2D animation style but it works so well. I had no idea Wolfwalkers was the third installment of an ‘Irish Folklore Trilogy’ by Tomm Moore so you can be sure I’ll be checking out the other 2 movies!
Worst Bit: *MINOR CHARACTER SPOILERS* So, I knew Robyn’s father was voiced by Sean Bean but I thought nothing of it until a particularly perilous moment. If you’ve watched enough of Sean Bean you’ll know his characters don’t tend to fare well. I had this sudden OH NO moment- but it all worked out okay for him in the end.
Fun Trivia: In early versions of the story, Robyn was a male character. During an online panel at TIFF both directors confirmed that Robyn was originally written to be a boy, but that something in the story ‘just wasn’t working.’
My Rating: A full five pitchforks that you should set aside and leave the wolves in peace!