Saturday, February 24, 2024

Review: Apple TV Throws Its Hat in the Oscar Animation Category with Glorious, Original “Wolfwalkers”


Apple now is in the Animation game in a massive way with their glorious original movie, “Wolfwalkers.” Cartoon Saloon, the studio who did “The Secret of Kells,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Breadwinner” along with the Directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart complete their “Irish Folklore Trilogy” with rousing success with this unique film.

Artfully done, whimsical, heartwarming, scary and soulful, this visually exhilarating film shows scenes that look like water color paintings coming to life in every frame. Thankfully it shows the preciousness of the wondrous wolves. Mixing history and folklore, “Wolfwalkers” is set in 1650 Ireland which is colonized by England.  Sean Bean plays Bill Goodfellowe, a Yorkshire native and a hunter who sets out to kill the wolves that have been attacking a remote city.  That edict was ordered by the evil boss/the Lord Cromwell, played wonderfully by Simon McBurney. Bill’s daughter Robyn, played beautifully by Honor Kneafsey, wants to join her Dad and is frustrated because she is constantly left behind.

An outsider in all ways, Robyn quickly bonds with a new friend Mebh who turns out is a wolf walker, a girl during the day and a wolf at night, along with magical healing powers and a loyal wolfpack.  Mebh awaits her Mom’s return to lead her and her pack to a safe haven.  The story that follows is the girls trying to get them all to safety, away from the wicked hunters (aren’t they all?)  The lovely and profound score by French composer Bruno Coulais along with the Irish folk group Kila, is perfect.  “Wolfwalkers” not only shows strong female characters and bonding, it shows the sanctity of the majestic wolves and the cruelty of hunting/hunters.

The filmmakers weave all in an expert and glorious filmmaking experience.   The film premiered at the AFI fest and won the audience award for narrative feature.  Well deserved. “Wolfwalkers” will stay in your mind and heart.  That’s what true art does for children and adults alike.  The talented duo of Moore and Stewart have more than succeeded with their crowning jewel that is “Wolfwalkers.”

“Wolfwalkers” will debut in Theaters Nationwide on November 13th and on December 11th on Apple TV +

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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