Wolfwalkers is a 2020 animated fantasy adventure film directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. The film is the third and final installment in Moore's "Irish Folklore Trilogy", following his previous films The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014). An international co-production led by Cartoon Saloon and Mélusine Productions, the film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12 and was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on October 26, in the United States and Canada on November 13, and in Ireland on December 2. It was released digitally on Apple TV+ on December 11, 2020 to critical acclaim.
|Screenplay by||Will Collins|
Wolfwalkers follows the story of Robyn Goodfellowe, a young apprentice hunter who arrives in Ireland with her father during a time of superstition and magic 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 rumored to have the ability to turn 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.
The film stars the voices of Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tommy Tiernan, Jon Kenny and John Morton. It won several awards including the Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature and five Annie Awards including Best Director for Moore and Stewart and Best Independent Animated Feature. It also received the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards.
In Ireland in 1650, the residents of the town of Kilkenny are working to clear the nearby woods under orders from the authoritarian Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, putting them at odds with a wolf pack. English hunter Bill Goodfellowe, with his rebellious daughter Robyn, has been summoned to Kilkenny by Cromwell to exterminate the wolves. Wanting to help Bill, Robyn secretly follows him out of town with her pet falcon, Merlyn. After accidentally shooting Merlyn with her crossbow while trying to kill a wolf, Robyn watches a mysterious girl take him into the woods and follows them. Upon finding Merlyn, miraculously healed, a young wolf startles her into a trap. As the wolf frees Robyn, she tries to fight it, causing it to bite her. Merlyn and the wolf lead Robyn to the wolves' den, where she discovers the wolf is the same girl from earlier. The girl, Mebh, explains she is a “wolfwalker”, whose spirit leaves her body and becomes a wolf when she sleeps. Robyn comes to befriend Mebh, and also learns that her dormant mother Moll's spirit has not yet returned in her search for a new home for their pack. Returning home, Robyn tries to convince Bill of the existence of wolfwalkers, but he instead scolds her for going into the forest.
The next morning, while working at the scullery as ordered by Cromwell, Robyn is drawn into his chambers by a mysterious voice coming from a concealed cage, but is ushered out by the head maid. That night, as she sleeps, Robyn discovers her soul has left her body and become a wolf. Robyn returns to the woods where Mebh reveals her bite has turned Robyn into a wolfwalker, and helps her get accustomed to her new form. Upon returning to Kilkenny, Robyn infiltrates Cromwell's manor and she finds Moll's wolf form inside the cage. Molly tells Robyn that Mebh and the pack must leave the forest, as Cromwell plans to burn it to wipe them out. Cromwell, seeking to restore control of the town, assures the townspeople he can tame the wolves, and by extension, nature itself. He ignores Robyn's pleas to let Moll go and demotes Bill for failing to eliminate the wolves.
Fearing separation from each other, Robyn and Bill tend to their duties. Mebh, having waited for Robyn to return on a promise from the previous night, enters Kilkenny. She finds Robyn, who attempts to relay her mother's warning, but Mebh, hurt by Robyn's refusal to help rescue her mother out of concern for her safety, resolves to do it alone. Cromwell presents the captured Moll before the townspeople. An enraged Mebh attempts to free her and when Bill restrains her, Moll bites him. Mebh vows to return with her pack to rescue her mother before fleeing. Cromwell orders Bill to kill Moll, and leads his army to burn the forest down.
Robyn protects Moll from Bill, then frees and reunites her with Mebh before she and her pack can attack Kilkenny, earning Mebh's forgiveness. Bill follows them and shoots Moll, causing Moll's wolf form to become a spirit and return to her human form in the den, with Robyn, Mebh, and the wolves following it. Cromwell and his army arrive and begin burning the forest. As Mebh works to heal a grievously wounded Moll, Robyn and the pack stall the soldiers. Mebh summons Robyn and her pack back, realizing she needs them present to heal Moll, but Robyn is knocked unconscious after disabling the army's cannon. Before Cromwell can kill her, Bill, due to Moll's bite, becomes a wolfwalker to protect Robyn and overpowers Cromwell who then willingly falls to his death.
Robyn and Bill return to the den and help Mebh revive Moll, and accept her invitation to stay with the pack and embrace their new identities as wolfwalkers. They set off with their pack to find a new home.
- Honor Kneafsey as Robyn Goodfellowe, a young apprentice hunter and Bill's daughter.
- Eva Whittaker as Mebh Óg MacTíre, an adventurous wolfwalker and Moll's daughter.
- Sean Bean as Bill Goodfellowe, a hunter and Robyn's father.
- Simon McBurney as Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, a zealous general and English Statesman ruling Ireland.
- Maria Doyle Kennedy as Moll MacTíre, a wolfwalker, the leader of the wolf pack, and Mebh's mother.
- Tommy Tiernan as Seán Óg, a woodcutter who believes in the existence of the wolfwalkers.
- Jon Kenny as Ned Stringy
- John Morton as Stumpy
- Paul Young as Sheep Farmer
- Nora Twomey as Bridget, the head housekeeper of the Lord Protector's scullery.
- Oliver McGrath as Padraig, a young bully in the town of Kilkenny.
- Niamh Moyles as Fishmonger
On September 8, 2018, Apple acquired Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart's Wolfwalkers from a script by Will Collins. The film is an original concept that was created by Moore and Stewart, and its animation uses a unique 2D style alternating between a woodblock aesthetic and loose expressive line work.
Moore's frequent collaborators, Bruno Coulais and folk group Kíla, provided the film's original score. Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora contributed to the soundtrack with a re-recorded version of her single "Running with the Wolves".
The theatrical release in Ireland was planned for the same day as the UK, but was delayed until later in the year due to the enforced closure of cinemas across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was instead released on 2 December 2020.
The film debuted on Apple TV+ on 11 December 2020, and was later released theatrically in France on 16 December by Haut et Court. In March, Deadline announced that Wolfwalkers would be re-released to select theaters in North America, starting on 19 March 2021 with the Angelika Film Center in New York.
On Rotten Tomatoes, 99% of 159 reviews are positive for the film, and the average rating is 8.70/10. Critics consensus on the website reads, "A mesmerizing Celtic-inspired adventure, Wolfwalkers offers an epic ethereal fantasy matched by profound philosophies and stellar voice work." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 87 out of 100, based on 28 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Sam Adams of Slate called this the best animated movie of the year to date, noting some weakness in mismatched tone but writing at length about the beauty and technical ability of the animation. Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: "In the decade since Kells, it's not just the technological advances that make Moore's latest so impressive, but the rapidly changing cultural conversations as well. He brings everything together by borrowing from timeless visual influences, leaving audiences with another stunning artwork for the ages."
Metacritic summarized various critics end-of-year top lists, and ranked Wolfwalkers in 26th place overall. IndieWire's poll of 231 critics included Wolfwalkers in its Best Movies of 2020, ranking in 32nd place.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Academy Awards||April 25, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants||Nominated|||
|AFI Fest||October 23, 2020||Narrative Feature||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Won|||
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||January 4, 2021||Best Animated Feature Film||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Best Animated Female||Eva Whittaker||Nominated|
|American Cinema Editors Awards||April 17, 2021||Best Edited Animated Feature Film||Darragh Byrne, Richie Cody, Darren Holmes, ACE||Nominated|||
|Annie Awards||April 16, 2021||Best Animated Feature – Independent||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Best FX for Feature||Kim Kelly, Leena Lecklin, Frédéric Plumey, Almu Redondo and Nicole Storck||Nominated|
|Best Character Animation - Feature||Emmanuel Asquier-Brassart||Nominated|
|Best Character Design - Feature||Federico Pirovano||Won|
|Best Direction - Feature||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Won|
|Best Music - Feature||Bruno Coulais and Kíla||Nominated|
|Best Production Design - Feature||María Pareja, Ross Stewart and Tomm Moore||Won|
|Best Storyboarding - Feature||Guillaume Lorin||Nominated|
|Best Voice Acting - Feature||Eva Whittaker||Won|
|Best Writing - Feature||Will Collins||Nominated|
|Art Directors Guild Awards||April 10, 2021||Excellence in Production Design for an Animated Film||Ross Stewart, Tomm Moore and Maria Pareja||Nominated|||
|Austin Film Critics Association Awards||March 19, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards||December 13, 2020||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Runner-up|||
|British Academy Film Awards||April 11, 2021||Best Animated Film||Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart and Paul Young||Nominated|||
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||December 21, 2020||Best Animated Film||Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Nora Twomey and Paul Young||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Super Awards||January 10, 2021||Best Animated Movie||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie||Honor Kneafsey||Nominated|
|Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards||February 10, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Runner-up|||
|Detroit Film Critics Society Awards||March 8, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Dorian Awards||April 18, 2021||Most Visually Striking Film||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Dublin Film Critics' Circle Awards||December 18, 2020||Best Irish Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|European Film Awards||April 25, 2021||Young Audience Award||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Nominated|||
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||December 21, 2020||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Runner-up|||
|Georgia Film Critics Association||March 12, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||February 28, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Gotham Awards||January 11, 2021||Audience Award||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Best International Feature||Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young, Nora Twomey and Stéphan Roelants||Nominated|
|Hollywood Critics Association Awards||March 5, 2021||Best Animated or VFX Performance||Honor Kneafsey||Nominated|||
|Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||January 27, 2021||Best Original Score in an Animated Film||Bruno Coulais||Nominated|||
|Houston Film Critics Society Awards||January 18, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|IndieWire Critics Poll||December 14, 2020||Best International Feature||Wolfwalkers||7th place|||
|International Cinephile Society Awards||February 20, 2021||Best Animated Film||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Nominated|||
|International Film Music Critics Association Awards||February 18, 2021||Best Original Score for an Animated Film||Bruno Coulais||Won|||
|Irish Animation Awards||May 21, 2021||Best Animation Sequence||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Best Art Direction and Design||Wolfwalkers||Won|
|Best Irish Feature or Special||Wolfwalkers||Won|
|Best Sound Design||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|
|Irish Film & Television Awards||July 4, 2021||Best Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Best Film Director||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Nominated|
|Best Film Script||Will Collins||Nominated|
|London Critics Circle Film Awards||February 7, 2021||Technical Achievement Award||Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart||Nominated|||
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||December 20, 2020||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards||April 16, 2021||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation||Sebastien Marquilly, Bruno Seznec, Christian Seznec, Baptiste Bouche, Felix Davin, Alexandre Fleurant, Axel Steichen, Stéphane Werner, Anne-Lyse Haddak and Florian Fabre||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review||January 26, 2021||Top 10 Independent Films||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|New York Film Critics Circle Awards||December 18, 2020||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||January 25, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Producers Guild of America Awards||March 24, 2021||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures||Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, and Stéphan Roelants||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||January 11, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Awards||January 18, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||February 15, 2021||Best Animated or Mixed Media Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Seattle Film Critics Society Awards||February 15, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards||January 17, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards||February 7, 2021||Best Animated Film||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Ursa Major Awards||May 2, 2021||Best Motion Picture||Wolfwalkers||Won|||
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||February 8, 2021||Best Animated Feature||Wolfwalkers||Nominated|||
|Best Voice Performance||Honor Kneafsey||Nominated|
|Women Film Critics Circle Awards||March 7, 2021||Best Animated Female||Eva Whittaker||Runner-up|||
No, I don’t think we do sequels per se, it would be unusual if we did that but we do tend to continue in the same vein, so we’ll see. The next few films that we do will be quite different. Who knows what’s down the line?— Tomm Moore in an interview with RTÉ
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(Animation – Ireland-Luxembourg-France) A Gkids, Apple release of a Cartoon Saloon, Mélusine Prods. production, […]
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16 décembre 2020
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Nationality : Minority French (Ireland, Luxembourg, France)
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