Wolfwalker Mebh with her mother. Thier red hair seems to surround them with a protective cape.

Irish Legends: Wolfwalkers

Posted by Speakeasy News > Monday 25 October 2021 > Shine Bright Lycée What's On

Tomm Moore’s animated films are rooted in Irish folklore and history. After fairies in Brendan and the Book of Kells and selkies in Song of the Sea, the heroes of his latest film are wolfwalkers, which he describes as “benign Celtic werewolves”. The film is set in 1650, when Cromwell’s English army had put down an Irish rebellion and the colonisers were imposing urbanisation and destroying forests

Robyn becomes a wolfwalker: when she goes to sleep, she transforms into a wolf.

Robyn is English. She and her father have come to Ireland with the Cromwellian figure of the Lord Protector. Her father is an experienced wolf hunter and Robyn usually hunts with him but here, in a colonised Irish town under siege, she is as much in danger from the locals as wolves and is forced to remain in the village while her father goes hunting in the woods which are being cut down on English orders to “civilise” the area and prepare it for organised agriculture.

Mebh and Robyn with her pet hawk Merlin.

Robyn hates being stuck at home doing domestic tasks and defies the ban on going into the woods. There she meets Mebh, who is a wolfwalker. When she is awake she’s a girl but when she sleeps she becomes a magical wolf who the real wolves obey. Mebh accidentally bites Robyn, who becomes a wolfwalker too, torn between her father the hunter and the wolves her friends. She swears to help Mebh find her missing mother but soon faces difficult choices.

All three films in the trilogy, which are traditional hand-drawn animations, have been nominated for best feature animation at the Oscars. They draw on Irish motifs and designs from pre-Christian times.


This  would make an interesting complement to the escape game in Shine Bright 2e SnapFile 18 Celtic Legends , or could widen out the escape game on Scottish legends in our escape-game pack.


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