TIFF 2020: Wolfwalkers Review

It’s only inevitable that Apple TV+ would add original animated feature films to their service so cue Wolfwalkers. While the film will certainly not compete with the heavyweights that don’t really need to be mentioned at this point in terms of animation, it still delivers a solid family experience that taps into the heart of the animated films of yesteryear for better or worse. Though when it comes to this genre, viewers for the most part should already possess some preconceived notion of what they are getting themselves into as it has offered little in the means of innovation when it comes to its central themes. Therefore, this film plays off as a greatest hits of sorts that is sure to still entertain younger audiences (but not too young) while others are sure to tune out something that they have seen countless times before.

Wolfwalkers tells the story of a young aspiring hunter named Robyn (Kneafsey) and her hunter father Bill (Bean) who travel from England to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. The situation soon changes once Robyn meets a free-spirited girl named Mebh (Whittaker) from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night known as Wolfwalkers. Meanwhile, the political and social unrest in the nearby village does not bode well for the Wolfwalkers as their home and livelihood are now threatened by the evil Lord Protector Cromwell (Simon McBurney) who has vowed to rid the land of wolves.

The resulting contrast should not come as much of a surprise to anyone but despite that, it was still somewhat interesting to watch the relationships between Robyn and her father as well as Mebh evolve in albeit predictable ways as this saga brought them closer. Clocking in at around 100 minutes, the film is a tad too long which will only temper some viewers’ enthusiasm as the its high predictable nature lessens the expected sentimental ending. Nevertheless, its impact will depend on the demographic.

In the end, Wolfwalkers is an animated film that won’t set the world on fire but it’s not the worst choice for a distraction.

still courtesy of Apple

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