Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Writer(s): Will Collins
Cast: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean
Synopsis: 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.
The medieval time frame is such an explored subject in popular culture. For whatever reason, it is believed that most of the folklore stems from a time before now when magic was not something of illusions, but real in a very true sense. These stories are just that, stories, but having the chance to explore such a vast world of possibilities is enthralling to not just the creator of the lore, but the audiences as well.
That is what we get with Wolfwalkers in a truly powerful story of fantasy, magic, love, and hope. It is a story that, told through the lens of beautifully hand-drawn animation, can be as epic in scale as it is moving in substance. The hand-drawn animation feels much more real than most CGI laden “spectacles”, but that doesn’t mean this movie isn’t a spectacle in and of itself. In a film that is intended to make us believe the impossible, and embrace the magic in the world, the use of simple hand-drawings helps give the film a stronger sense of believing in the unbelievable. The film plays across like the pages of a book in that each and every frame has such a meaning and purpose to the overall film.
The story of this film is such an in-depth and simple one that it can work for all ages. There is the simplicity and cuteness that kids will gravitate towards, and the deep-rooted meaning and feeling, as well as some darker sequences that I didn’t think this film would reach, that adults can find enjoyment in as well. This film also did a great job of being what not a lot of animated films can be nowadays, original.
The score of this movie was amazing as well, as the Celtic and Irish feel resonated all over. The film does a remarkable job of putting you in the situation, but an even better job of making you feel like you are a part of this land and this lore. Some of the uses of sound and structure in this film brought me to tears just from the sheer beauty of it.
Final: Wolfwalkers is a beautifully animated and original look at Irish Folklore that is both epic in scale and moving in substance. The score and the voice work both evoke a feeling of medieval fantasy that works so well.
Current Tomato Score: 97%
Current Metacritic: 87
Current IMDb: 8.3/10
Awards Prospects: Best Animated Feature
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.