Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon provides another vibrant, distinctive experience in drawing from myth in capping a trilogy – after The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.
Wolfwalkers in its character expression, use colors and attention to detail would get high recognition from stalwarts like those behind Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke for example.
Here, in 17th Century Kilkenny a fantasy adventure with deep Celtic influences offer a pulchritudinous tale with enveloping characters and themes, even if the plotting could have been whittled down just a wee bit. Including intense action sequences that may verge on the clamorous.
The main character would be Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) an English lass who wants to avoid the life of a scullery maid. As her dad Bill (Sean Bean tracks down marauding lupines for the rather authoritarian British Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell (vocalized with vile elegance by Simon McBurney).
Robyn’s discovery in a nearby forest of Mebh (Eva Whittaker) who’ll be more than a confidante turns out to be a puckish, red-haired girl by day and a wold by night. The tittle comes from special quality that Mebh and hr lost, somnolent mother Mill (Maria Doyle Kennedy) endows.
Elements of Brave and Avatar can be felt with Robyn preferring to use a crossbow in the woodsy environment that be cooped up in a classroom and is bullied by other students. So, she secretly follows Bill on his assignment. And being in a hooded black cape with her pet falcon leads to a confrontation with an untamed beast, a transformation, kindness and healing.