Wolfwalkers, The people of wolves – Review, friendship that overcomes barriers
Here is the review of Wolfwalkers – The people of the wolves, a film nominated for numerous awards, including the Oscar Award 2021 for best film
An expanding village, animals deprived of their habitat, a people capable of living in symbiosis with wolves, a merciless hunt and an unlikely friendship. These are some of the key elements on which it stands Wolfwalkers – The wolf people, of which we present the review, an animated film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2020, and available on Apple TV +. The film, the result of the skilful direction of Tomm Moore And Ross Stewart, received several nominations, including nominations such as Best Animated Film at the 2021 Academy Award, to the Golden Globe 2021 and al BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Art) 2021. The film is part of a trilogy inspired by the Irish mythology, preceded by The Secret of Kells (2009) and The Song of the Sea (2014).
Ireland, 1650. The town of Kilkenny is expanding, and the governor Lord Protector he gave orders to cut down the trees to increase the amount of land intended for housing. He also hired a hunter of English origins, Bill Goodfellowe, to exterminate the wolves that live in the woods, seen as a threat to be eradicated. The fear of the herd is rooted in the mind of the population, as well as the desire to hunt animals down to the last specimen. It doesn’t cross anyone’s mind that devastating a natural habitat is the main cause of wolves’ rage, which they are coming closer more and more to sheep farms and citizens’ homes. Among the beasts there are also two Wolfwalkers, lord of the wolves, able to communicate with them and lead them as if they were the leader of the pack.
The theme that guides the film does not appear new to the eyes of the spectators, but is treated in an exquisite way. There depth of the characters and the emotions that guide their actions, combined with one flawless graphic style and a story that unfolds naturally scene after scene, are a breath of fresh air in the panorama of animated films of the year. One of the pillars of the story is the close friendship that binds Robyn, daughter of hunter Bill Goodfellowe, And Mebh, a young man belonging to the Wolfwalkers and leader of the large pack of wolves that Lord Protector would like to see annihilated. In fact, as foreigners, Robyn and her father must distinguish themselves and make themselves useful in Kilkenny, in order to be able be accepted from the community. It is important that Bill performs his role as a hunter as well as possible, to guarantee himself and his daughter a safe place under the protective wing of the governor, who does not compromise the failure of the people who work for him.
However, despite the barriers separating Robyn’s world from Mebh’s, the two girls meet, and against all odds are tied from an event that will change their life forever. The people of the Wolfwalkers can communicate with the wolves and guide their actions, trying to protect them from the traps scattered in the woods and from the unscrupulous deforestation that, day after day, takes away space from the animals. Robyn is initially determined to help her father in the hunt, but is what Lord Protector ordered her to do really fair? Where does common sense end and cruelty begin?
When animation becomes a work of art
The first thing that stands out in Wolfwalkers is the wonderful animation style. The drawings are carefully hatched and with a unique style, perfect for the type of story being presented to the public. The scenarios are rich in meaning, embraced by bright colors and angular shapes and decided. Looking at the film, one gets the impression of entering a painting, a true work of art that traps people in another world and in a distant era.
The plot wisely moves between the town of Kilkenny, Ireland, and the surrounding woods, home to wolves and Wolfwalkers. The crowded and noisy streets and the paths surrounded by greenery and quiet alternate harmoniously, leaving room for differences among the bare and not very detailed environments visible to human eyes, and the rich and detailed world that winds through pupils of wolves. This is a very strong contrast, which is reflected in the barriers built between the two peoples after centuries of prejudice and baseless fears. Robyn is the proud bearer of these diversities, as she experiences them firsthand, amidst amazement and fear, and realizes how wrong popular beliefs based on ignorance and fear can be. Lord Protector is ready to build new barriers and deepen the terror that reigns supreme in Kilkenny when it comes to wolves, seen as the most formidable enemy of all.
There soundtrack accompanying Robyn, Mebh and all the characters in the story is exceptional. The pieces with a medieval flavor marry perfectly with the accompanying scenes, often becoming the real protagonists of the stage. The music was curated Bruno Coulais and the Irish folk group Kíla. Among the beautiful pieces that will delight the ears of the viewers are present Running with the Wolves, rearrangement of the song by the Norwegian singer Aurora, e Howls the Wolf (Moll’s Song – Wolf Run Free). The dubbing it is at the height of the other components of the film. Both in the original language and in Italian, the work was carried out in a masterly way and the interpreters manage to give an almost perfect intonation to the dialogues and emotions that dominate as the plot continues. Wolfwalkers – The wolf people satisfies all the senses who can benefit from watching a movie, and it does it in the best way.