Movie Information

The latest from Irish animation artist Tomm Moore is visually sumptuous and relates a captivating, original myth.
Genre: Animated/Adventure
Director: Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart
Starring: The voices of Honor Kneafsey, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney
Rated: PG

Irish artist and filmmaker Tomm Moore is two-for-two in getting Academy Award nominations for his previous animated feature films, The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014). He’ll likely earn another nod for Wolfwalkers.

Like his other movies, Wolfwalkers is visually sumptuous and narratively mythological, taking elements of Irish folk tales and weaving them into an original fable set in a storybook past outside of actual history. This time, the heroine is young Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Honor Kneafsey), the daughter of an English huntsman (Sean Bean) who was brought to an Irish village to rid its forest of wolves. When Robyn ventures into the woods, she meets Mebh (Eve Whittaker), a girl her age who’s a wolfwalker — a person with a magical connection to the animal pack.

Moore’s signature style is distinct: Hand-drawn characters appear intentionally flat, as though book illustrations had come to life, and the backgrounds in Robyn’s village are designed to resemble medieval woodblock prints, with overlapping layers in place of perspective. The woods, by contrast, are rich with color, depth and movement. Moore’s direction — co-credited this time around to concept artist Ross Stewart — emphasizes artistic flourishes, although his determination to give Robyn fully realized surroundings sometimes bogs down the early going (a subplot about local bullies goes nowhere, for example).

But this is no Studio Laika mishmash. Moore is a better storyteller than that, and the tale he’s relating soon becomes clear and captivating. Very small children may be a bit confused or frightened, but school-age kids should love Wolfwalkers, particularly the thrills in its second half. Meanwhile, adults will admire the vivid and original artistry and smile at the satisfying finale.

Starts Nov. 13 at Carolina Cinemark. Available to stream starting Dec. 11 via Apple TV+


Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.