The Secret of the Kells. Song of the Sea. The Breadwinner.
There is no animation studios out there quite like Cartoon Saloon. For years, they have produced the most unique and stunning works for adults and children alike. They are the kind of company which will make you cry through animation alone. Then they sprinkle in an affecting story, a brilliant composition, and stirring voices.
Their latest release is the phenomenal Wolfwalkers.
Set a long time ago, Wolfwalkers revolves around the young Robyn Goodfellow, who has moved with her father Bill, from England to a small town in Ireland. The town and its people are plagued with fear at the vicious wolves that populate the forest nearby, a fire that is stoked by the cruel Lord Protector. When Robyn stumbles into the forest, she comes across the wild-haired and even wilder spirited Mebh. Together, they are about to discover the true nature and the true magic of the wolves.
Continuing the tradition of having scenes that will blub from beauty alone, Wolfwalkers is a fantastic film. This is a ferocious beast of a movie that pounds at the ground with spirit and heart. Contrasting the stoic, square with the fluid magic of the forest, the hand-drawn animation is a striking spectacle that you will feel deep in your very soul.
This is a pivotal film that has a hearted and political message about saving the environment and how we must live alongside the animals we inhabit the earth with. the animals we live alongside, and The true magic of Wolfwalkers is how it blends so many different elements into this vital story of conversation. Woven in are themes of religious oppression and how the vicious Lord Protector uses fear to dominate over the village. Then there is a more tender look at the relationship between daughter and their parents in two separate relationships – Mebh and her mother, Robyn and her Father. This element speaks to how we can learn from our children as much as they learn from us and how the village needed Robyn’s openness, otherwise they, and subsequently she, would be bound by their ignorance forever.
Voicework from Honor Kneafsley, Eve Whittaker, Sean Bean, and Maria Doyle Kennedy add depth to these themes.
The reworking of Aurora’s Running with The Wolves appears in a crucial spiritual transformation sequence which will beat wildly in your heart forever more, especially alongside a stunning score.
Wolfwalkers feels almost spiritually related to movies such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty & the Beast, but Wolfwalkers races past them with its wildling nature.
Enchanting, this is the best animated movie of 2020.
Wolfwalkers is out in cinemas 26 October.
It hits Apple TV on 13 December!