Wolfwalkers is an Apple TV+ exclusive animated film nominated for the 2021 academy awards. Sean Bean of Game of Thrones fame and Honor Kneafsey of A Christmas Prince fame are a father and daughter that moved to Ireland to eliminate the last remaining wolf pack. Robyn, the daughter is desperate to join her father on the hunt and has been training diligently for her entire life. All of it gets upended when Robyn meets Mebh, a wolfwalker. Wolfwalkers are humans that can inhabit wolves while they sleep.
The animation style looks like hand-drawn action over static backgrounds. It has been a while since I have seen any hand-drawn animation, and this feels unique within that genre. It allows for some wonderful transition scenes that let you take in the beauty of the film.
The film touches on several complex subjects in ways that kids will understand. Robyn seeks approval from her father and is often disobedient to gain favor and do what is morally right. Many children, even adult children, attempt to change their parent’s opinions on topics as they gain new information and lack pre-established prejudices.
Environmentalists can champion this movie because of the expansion of this Irish town into the surrounding woods. It leads to a loss of habitat for a peaceful group of wolves that have lived in harmony for years with the town folk. The people that live beyond the wall have more respect for nature because they deal with it daily. The city folk dismisses these country bumpkins as standing in the way of progress. In the end, those that live closest to nature are proven right.
Apple is trying to get its streaming service off the ground. Ted Lasso is their biggest hit and is universally loved. Greyhound, the Tom Hanks film, was less well-received by critics. Wolfwalkers is not worth paying a subscription for, but if you happen to have access it is a fun and ultimately happy ending film for the entire family that could lead to some fun conversations with your children after.