8.1/10
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Wolfwalkers (2020)

WolfWalkers (original title)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night.

Directors:

Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart

Writers:

Will Collins (screenplay), Tomm Moore (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
649 ( 169)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

In a time of superstition and magic, when wolves are seen as demonic and nature an evil to be tamed, a young apprentice hunter, ROBYN, comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last pack. But when Robyn saves a wild native girl, MEBH, their friendship leads her to discover the world of the WOLFWALKERS. Written by Someone

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be fierce. Be wild. Be free.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sequences of violence and peril, scary images, some thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maria Pareja said that several of the people who worked on the movie wanted to be included as animated characters. Some of them made it onto the big screen, and some of them didn't. See more »

Connections

References One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Wolfwalkers Theme
Written by Bruno Coulais
Performed by Sofia Coulais and Camille Joutard
(C) Cartoon Saloon Music Ltd - Passerelle
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User Reviews

 
WOLFWALKERS is 2D animation at its best. One of the best films of the year.
7 December 2020 | by msbreviewsSee all my reviews

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I've always been a tremendous fan of animation. If there's one comment I deeply despise is the "animated films are for children". This preconceived notion is extremely dated, and honestly, quite childish. I don't even think it works within a teenage banter anymore since anime keeps growing exponentially around the world, and animated movies are reaching more and more people as time goes by. The whole "you watch cartoons, you're a baby" bullying statement to make friends laugh about someone is now decades-old. However, I still feel a bit of pity for people who believe animation can't have the same emotional impact than live-action, especially when a major studio like Pixar is known for making the most grown-up of adults cry like an infant.

In addition to this, some viewers think that the latter studio owned by Disney is the only company making decent animated flicks when they've been losing ground to other unbelievably talented people. One of my favorite animated films of all-time is Kubo and the Two Strings, a stop-motion animation work from Laika, the studio that also created Missing Link and Coraline. Cartoon Saloon is emerging as an awards-contender studio, by releasing movies such as Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner, and now Wolfwalkers. The main difference between this last company and the others is the style of animation: the "old" 2D animation that 90s kids like me grew up with.

That's precisely where I'm starting this review. Wolfwalkers' 2D animation proves once again that this style will never become "dated" or "less than" the current 3D design. Don't be mistaken, I love both styles! I'm not part of the whole 2D vs 3D discourse simply because I firmly believe both have their own benefits and limitations. 2D animation brings a sense of uniqueness and artistry to any story due to the distinct drawing from many skilled artists, but it's more limited than 3D when it comes to creating an immersive atmosphere and its respective world. However, the latter is becoming stagnated in its design structure since almost every 3D animated flick visually feels and looks the same.

So, there's no good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse when it comes to animation. I can offer dozens of examples of exceptional, gorgeous-looking, utterly superb animated flicks from both styles, as well as awful, corporate-like films that I try my hardest to forget (looking at you, The Emoji Movie). Fortunately, Wolfwalkers belongs to the first group. Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart direct an emotionally heartwarming tale with seamless execution of every single aspect. Will Collins' screenplay isn't particularly new or innovative though. It follows a somewhat generic, predictable story with key plot points that any viewer with minimum viewing experience will see coming from miles away.

However, it's a formula that, if executed properly, still delivers a rich, passionate, captivating narrative, which will always please both children and adults. Just from the premise, it's pretty clear that the message of the movie is inspired by cliches such as "don't judge people by their cover" or "our wants can steal someone else's needs", and it even approaches racial discrimination since the film deals with two different populations. Obviously, having in mind one of these "societies" is a pack of wolves, there's also a message towards deforestation and excessive animal hunting, leading thousands of species to their eventual extinction. All of these themes are handled brilliantly, and it never feels preachy.

It doesn't matter how unsurprising the story ends up being when I feel as absorbed by the characters and the animation as I did. Honor Kneafsey and Eva Whittaker, as Robyn Goodfellowe and Mebh Óg MacTíre respectively, display phenomenal voice work, which is then elevated by the stunning, expressive, award-worthy animation. Sean Bean is also terrific as Bill Goodfellowe, Robyn's father, who basically possesses the character arc that goes through the significant change of acknowledging, understanding, and accepting an entirely different culture and its people (in this case, animals). Every character is incredibly well-written as are all dialogues, surrounded by a Celtic-inspired atmosphere, myths, and obviously, music.

Bruno Coulais and folk group Kíla developed the movie's original score, and it's undoubtedly one of my favorite soundtracks of 2020, including one of my favorite original songs ("Running with the Wolves") in one of my favorite musical sequences of the year. "Favorite" is definitely the right one-word description of how I feel about Wolfwalkers. It's one of those films I can't really point out a single flaw. Massive praise to the drawing artists who designed such a fantastic 2D world. Their work is often unappreciated and underrated (besides being underpaid), so I want to offer Cartoon Saloon my biggest thank you, and keep making excellent cinema.

I have no doubts: Wolfwalkers is, by far and so far, the best animated feature-film I've seen all year. I know the big gun from Pixar is coming up (Soul), but it will have to be an absolutely perfect movie to surpass Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart's beautifully heartwarming Celtic-inspired tale. Cartoon Saloon continues to prove that 2D animation is still capable of delivering emotionally compelling stories through gorgeous-looking, unique, artistic drawings. Despite Will Collins's generic narrative and cliche messages, every single detail is executed perfectly, without a single flaw to point out. Outstanding voice work from Honor Kneafsey and Eva Whittaker as the well-written, captivating protagonists. However, it's Bruno Coulais and Kíla's original score that melts my heart and sends chills down my spine every time I listen to it. One of my favorite films of the year, I'd be extremely surprised with myself if it doesn't end on my Top10. Watch it with your family. It's worth it.

Rating: A


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Details

Country:

Ireland | Luxembourg | France | Denmark | USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wolfwalkers See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$229,041
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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