Ireland, Luxembourg, 2020, 100'
In English with Slovenian subtitles
In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumoured to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the ‘wolfwalkers’ and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.
Directed by: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
Written by: Will Collins
Artistic direction: Ross Stewart, Tomm Moore, Maria Pareja
Editing: Richie Cody, Darren Holmes a.c.e., Darragh Byrne, Alan Slattery
Music: Bruno Coulais, Kila
Sound Design: Alexandre Fleurant
Voices: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Tommy Tiernan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jon Kenny, John Morton, Nora Twomey, Oliver McGrath, Paul Young
Producers: Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants
Production: Cartoon Saloon, Dentsu Inc.
Distribution: Cartoon Saloon
I don’t know where we found the name ‘wolfwalkers,’ they were originally known as the ‘man wolves of Ossory.’ Ossory [now modern-day County Kilkenny] is an old name for the area we grew up in, and where our studio is now. The sad story is that the wolves were completely wiped out, and with that a lot of the folklore died off too. We thought it was nice to revitalize and reimagine the stories.
2D animation can sometimes look like it still has the limitations of the 1940s, where it looks like cell painted characters on watercolor backgrounds rather than all the things that it can be. I think for animation fans it’s going to be a celebration of what hand drawn animation can do and really pushing the hand drawn medium as a valid medium in itself as opposed to something you start to see CG movies now trying to replicate. We’re trying to show that hand drawn can still do something that CGI can’t.
- Tomm Moore
Very early on, we knew that the town had to represent a cage for Robyn because the Lord Protector had a tight rule over society. And so we looked at the old woodblock prints of the 1600s with black lines and aggressive mark making and lots of horizontals and verticals. And it seemed appropriate to merge that into the style of the town. In contrast to that, the forest had to be free and energetic in outlook. The forest had to embody that wild energy that the wolves have.
- Ross Stewart
Awards and festivals (selection):
- Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, Academy Awards 2021
- Bafta Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, Bafta Awards 2021
- Best Animated Independent Feature, Annie Awards 2021
- HCA Award for Best Animated Film, Hollywood Critics Association 2021
- Best Irish Film, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards 2020
- IFTA Award for Best Film, Irish Film and Television Awards 2021