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WolfWalkers (AFI Fest 2020); Grade: B+

Strictly Films welcomes to you to coverage of this years AFI Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Wolfwalkers.

Wolfwalkers tells a story about a young gal named Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) whom lives in a small gated village, destined to be a handmaiden like the rest of towns women are. Robyn wants to be like her dad, whom is wolf hunter. As Robyn sneaks out of this gated village to explore a life of a wolf hunter, she’ll soon discover a mythical being known as a Wolfwalker. Wolfwalkers are beings whom appear a human being when their awake, but a wolf when their asleep. Witness a young gal discover WolfWalkers as they’re not as dangerous as the townspeople thinks they are.

The animation in this film was quite awesome, it’s rare enough we see such hand drawn 2-D animation films these days. Love the designs of the human beings, wolves, the mythical imagery of the WolfWalkers, the land in this time period... All looked pretty authentic and actually had some kind of soul, as there was a fair amount of passion going into this project. Loved the composed music and even the original songs in this, they compliment some epic montage scenes about wolves in general. Characters at hand were pretty good, well written, likable, and unlikable when needed to be. Robyn as a lead character was very sweet, daring, and had a fair amount of courage. Her experience with the WolfWalkers were pretty cool, as it gave her a new perspective on how not only harmless these beings are, but also a new perspective on wolves as well. I enjoyed the leading WolfWalker Mebh (Eva Whittaker), as she was a very fun character in which had a lot of personality and charisma as well.

I also enjoyed Robyn’s father (Sean Bean) as he was a cool wolf hunter, however a couple particular moments in which one can be pissed off by this character, as he feels the need to go against his own daughter and follow a shameful lord of commander. The antagonist was honestly pretty good as one did dislike this character for good reason only, kind of reminds me of the Lord in Shrek even.

WolfWalkers is a film in which brings back the classic mythology aspect in story telling, back to life followed by gorgeous imagery in animation. The story at hand was extremely exciting, pulled off some risk in which animation of today often holds back on, especially in kids animation in which they try to target a dumber down audience than a mature audience. I was surprised by the amount of action and even some dark imagery as well, nothing disturbing or anything but definitely a bit frightening for a younger audience. The story could also be a resourceful tool as far as not judging a book by it’s cover. It’s been known that wolves are dangerous animals, but how often do these people see for themselves?! Most likely never. How can you really know someone or something in which you never made an attempt in doing so?! This film does a great job with just that, as the display of friendship was extremely adorable as well.

Some flaws consist of character choices that didn’t sit well with me or didn’t have much logic behind their thinking process. It’s also worth noting that the whole turning others into WolfWalkers themselves, as well as the healing process has some issues as well, as rules are sometimes bent or just doesn’t add up before. WolfWalkers will definitely be an enjoyable animation/adventure film, that can be loved by both children and most certainly adults.

Overall, WolfWalkers was a pretty damn good film. I highly recommend checking this one out, shall be on Apple TV Plus this December. -Mitch Smietana

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