Whilst animation has always been popular with cinema audiences, until recently it was only really Disney films which attracted mainstream attention. With the rise in popularity of Pixar, Studio Ghibli and Dreamworks, it’s a genre which has become commonplace on the big screen. However, it’s often the smaller studios which produce the most innovative and beautiful work. There’s no one in the world making films quite like Cartoon Saloon. Their new film, Wolfwalkers, is up there with Song of the Sea, as their best.
Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) has journeyed with her father Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) to Kilkenny, Ireland. He has ingratiated himself as a hunter with the Lord Protector (Simon McBurney), who is determined to clear the wolves from the land. Their habitat, the forest, is being decimated; forcing them to venture closer to town and the townsfolk. One day Robyn meets Mebh (Eva Whittaker), a wolfwalker, and they form an unlikely bond. The pair must work together to save the pack.
Once again, Cartoon Saloon has produced a film which is both breathtakingly beautiful and utterly enthralling. Whilst Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart have created the most visually stunning film you’ll see this year, it’s the storytelling which ensures it’s such a captivating watch. The enchanting and thrillingly inventive animation is woven into a mature and daringly ambitious narrative. Wolfwalkers is the best film of the year. I triumph on many levels. A poetic fable.
Wolfwalkers screened at London Film Festival and is out in cinemas from 26 October.