Linda Cook review: ‘Wolfwalkers’ is a magical animated tale

Local News

The most stunning animated film you never heard of will be in theaters for only three days.

“Wolfwalkers,” a magical movie that has so many themes on so many levels, is a Celtic tale that will appeal to animal lovers, older children and anyone who loves Celtic music.

The movie, an Apple Original Films production, most likely will be a contender at awards time among the top 2020 offerings.

Although it has a little of “Brave” and the too-oft-neglected “Brother Bear” in its DNA, it is never derivative.

Set in the past in Ireland, its star is Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Honor Kneafsey) who lives alone with her hunter father Bill (Sean Bean.) Robyn, who is a good hunter in her own right, longs to go on expeditions with him.

Bill has been assigned to kill the last wolf pack in Ireland, but he wants his daughter to stay home where she is safe.

Little does he know she has made the acquaintance of Mebh (Eva Whittaker) who lives among the wolves – she’s a wolfwalker, and can transform to a wolf at night.

After a terrible accident, Robyn discovers exactly who Mebh, and her mother, are, and what wonderful powers they possess. Now she is the only person who stands between Oliver Cromwell’s order to destroy all the wolves and the safety of the animals she has come to love and respect.

Composer Bruno Coulais (“Oceans” and “Coraline”) has created a gorgeous score that blends perfectly with the style of the animation.

The movie comes to theaters from GKIDS, a New York-based producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation – it has scored 11 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations, and this deserves at least one more.

The themes of abuse of power, of xenophobia, and courage to do what’s right run through this remarkable adventure that richly deserves to be seen on the big screen.

4 out of 4 stars

Rated: PG for brief violence.

Running time: One hour and 43 minutes.

At Cinemark, Davenport, only Friday-Sunday.

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