Wolfwalkers is an animated film about two young girls working together to stage a dramatic rescue despite their dramatic differences of nature and nurture.
The town of Kilkenny, Ireland has a wolf problem, and Bill Goodfellowe, along with his daughter Robyn, emigrated from England to help hunt them down. But this pack of wolves is not what it seems, led by a savage and strange young girl, a mythical wolfalker. Against her father’s orders, Robyn ventures a little too far outside the walled-off town, and crosses paths with the young wolfwalker daughter, Mebh. As their friendship blossoms, they will have to work together to rescue Mebh’s mother – and the whole wolf pack – from Kilkenny’s fanatically religious Lord Protector.
The Kilkenny-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon can do no wrong in my mind. Wolfwalkers tells a challenging story of overcoming division, understanding identity, and the evils of religious extremism, all of which is told with an enchanting Celtic folkloric tone. It’s a masterwork of animation style, oozing with a passion for the craft at least equal to the works of Miyazaki and sure to mesmerize adults and children alike. More importantly, this film speaks directly to children and adults about the consequences of failing to overcome our differences and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by exclusionary ideologies.
Q1: Have you ever been told a story that made you feel afraid or nervous about a particular people, place, or creature? Was it a true story, or made up?
Q2: What is a family? Who can be family?
Q3: What is our responsibility to the animals in our lives? What about to nature as a whole?