Friday, December 11, 2020

Wolfwalkers Review: A Striking Irish Animated Film With A Wonderful Story

Honor Kneafsey	...	Robyn Goodfellowe (voice) Eva Whittaker	Eva Whittaker	...	Mebh Óg MacTíre (voice) Sean Bean	Sean Bean	...	Bill (voice) Simon McBurney	Simon McBurney	...	Lord Protector (voice) Tommy Tiernan	Tommy Tiernan	...	Seán Óg (voice) Maria Doyle Kennedy	Maria Doyle Kennedy	...	Mebh's Mother, Moll MacTíre (voice) Jon Kenny	Jon Kenny	...	Stringy Woodcutter, Ned (voice) John Morton	John Morton	...	Stumpy Woodcutter (voice) Nora Twomey	Nora Twomey	...	Head Housekeeper, Bridget (voice) Oliver McGrath	Oliver McGrath	...	Street Children Ringleader, Padraig (voice) Paul Young	Paul Young	...	Sheep Farmer (voice) Niamh Moyles	Niamh Moyles	...	Fishmonger (voice)

Release date: December 11, 2020
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Tommy Tiernan, Jon Kenny, John Morton, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Directed by: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Written by: Will Collins

In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

Eric Beckman	...	executive producer: GKIDS Damien Brunner	...	executive producer: Folivari Didier Brunner	...	executive producer: Folivari David Jesteadt	...	executive producer: GKIDS Tomm Moore	...	producer Fabien Renelli	...	executive producer: Mélusine productions Stéphan Roelants	...	producer Katja Schumann	...	line producer Gerry Shirren	...	executive producer: Cartoon Saloon Nora Twomey	...	producer Ying Yang	...	executive producer: Value&Power Culture Communications Paul Young	...	producer Shuo Zhang	...	executive producer: Value&Power Culture Communications
Wolfwalkers has a really wonderful animation style.  It uses computer animation, but has plenty of touches to make it look hand drawn.  From extra "pencil" lines on the drawings, to a wonderful style, to exaggerated characters, the film often feels like a work of art come to life.  And because it also uses computers to generate the animation, it allows for some very fluid characters and sequences.  The characters flow like water sometimes, and switch between different forms and camera angles with ease.  It really is a sight to behold and something that instantly makes this film stand out.  It also has an exaggerated, angular style that makes the animation sometimes look like something out of a stained glass window, which I think is part of what they were going for.  And overall, it is wonderful to see an Irish take on an animated feature.  

And bringing this to life is some really wonderful voice acting headlined by Sean Bean as the Robyn's father.  You can instantly tell it is him and his voice talent is undeniable, able to convey concern and love easily.  And Honor Kneafsey does a wonderful job as Robyn, portraying a girl who is conflicted in what she wants and what world she wants to live in.  And I also loved Eva Whittaker as Mebh, for her free spirit and carefree attitude.  And these actors bring this story to life, a story of discovery and acceptance.  It is a great story for kids and adults to experience and one that is important today.  Although there are a few sequences that might be a little scary for younger kids, overall it is a great story for kids to experience.  The film tries to bridge the divide between different people and highlight how dangerous misunderstanding can be.  And in doing that it crafts a beautiful and imaginative world to convey that message.

Wolfwalkers is a beautiful film with a striking, hand drawn style and a wonderful story about nature and acceptance that will have you howling for joy.  

Watch it.
Animated Animation Anime Irish Wolves Wolf Shapeshifters Magic
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Wolfwalkers is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting December 11.

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