Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Alternate Title: WolfWalkers
Ireland/United Kingdom/Luxembourg/France, 2020. Apple Original Films, Cartoon Saloon, Mélusine Productions, Value&Power Culture Communications, Film Fund Luxembourg, Fís Éireann/Screen, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Haut et Court, Canal+, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Orange Cinema Series, Pôle Image Magelis, Folivari, Gkids, Crone Film International, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Hiventy, Piste Rouge, SIF 309 Film Music, Studio 352. Story by Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Screenplay by Will Collins, consultant Jerrica Cleland. Produced by Tomm Moore, Paul Young, Stephan Roelants. Music by Bruno Coulais. Production Design by Tomm Moore, Maria Pareja, Ross Stewart. Film Editing by Darragh Byrne, Richie Cody, Darren T. Holmes.
Tomm Moore once again explores the beauty of Irish folklore in his follow-up to The Secret Of Kells and the beautiful Song of the Sea. The images all have the sense of old woodcuttings come to life, the story centering around an optimistic young lass named Robyn who lives in the fortified town of Kilkenny in English-occupied Ireland. Her father (voiced by Sean Bean) is a hunter under the oppressive leadership of the Lord Protector (Simon McBurney), who has ordered him to rid the surrounding woods of the ravenous wolves who threaten the town’s safety. Against her concerned father’s wishes, Robyn heads into the woods pursuing her own curiosity and meets a spritely young lass named Mebh, who turns out to be a wolfwalker, something that Robyn thought wasn’t real. Human by day, wolfwalkers’ bodies fall asleep at night and their lycan spirits wander the earth instead, but Mebh’s mother Moll lies in perpetual human slumber in their cave dwelling, her wolf spirit out wandering the earth in places unknown. Robyn pledges to help Mebh find her and stop her fellow humans from killing the wolves, but her father does not believe the tales she tells. Robyn only brings more trouble upon herself when she learns that the Lord Protector has some secrets connected to her quest. Sincere in tone and lush in its presentation, this is a expertly animated, sharply written and culturally beneficial animated film that has moments of great, breathtaking drama that will keep the kids (and more than a few adults) hanging on until the breathtaking finale.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Animated Feature
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Animated Feature
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Animated Feature