5 Family Values Your Wolfpack Can Learn from Watching Wolfswalkers

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Apple TV’s Wolfswalkers is a must-watch for the incredible life lessons

The tight competition in this year’s animated feature category in the Academy Awards is filled with family-themed movies. Pixar’s Onward features a son’s yearning for his father and his odyssey to get him back, Soul (another Pixar bet) has a minor arc concerning the protagonist’s familial relationships, and Netflix’s Over the Moon is inspired by a young girl’s journey fueled by her longing for her late mother. Alongside these frontrunners is an Apple TV offering: Wolfswalkers.

Wolfswalkers (which was also nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe)is the third installment in an anthology series of movies by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart built around Irish folklore. While there is no need to watch the first two films, once you’ve seen Wolfswalkers, chances are, you’ll be enthralled to look for the others based on one of three things: the breathtaking animation that feels like watching a moving storybook, the fantastic voice-acting and the musical score, and finally, the wholesome message filled to the brim with touching moments that impart lessons.

If the litter pack is bored and in need of some entertainment, here are 5 reasons why you should watch this fantasy-filled story together.

1. We Love Children Who Love Their Parents

Robyn Goodfellowe (Honor Kneafsey) and Mebh Óg MacTíre (Eva Whittaker) are two polarizing but equally adorable characters. Robyn is an outcast in the society she lives in for a few reasons but finds joy in following the path of her dad’s action-filled job. Mebh, on the other hand, knows no boundaries when it comes to having fun, emanating her mother’s fierce energy. Both girls possess the qualities of a modern-day girl: an adventure-seeking mindset, astounding courage in adversity, and palpable resistance to societal norms.

2. A Demo of What Single Parents Can Do

While their respective parents are just as opposed as the two protagonists are. But they are both fiercely protective, being single parents. Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) is strict and stern for the right reasons. Moll MacTíre (Maria Doyle Kennedy) lets her young run loose but will move heaven and earth for her daughter’s safety. In the most heartfelt moments, you’ll find the extent of what these loving parents will do for their children, further proving that blood is thicker than water.

3. What Kids Can Learn from Bullying

With two offbeat kids as leads, you can expect to see scenes where they are bullied by other children. Robyn, for her English upbringing in the heart of an Irish country setting. And Mebh, for her feral nature in the midst of impending urbanization. What these girls show, is how their differences make the difference in this seemingly unforgiving community. That by staying true to themselves, their beauty radiates and that happy endings do come true without sacrificing your identity.

4. Our Part in Saving Our Environment

Also focal to the story is how mankind continues to take and take from a strong mother figure: Mother Nature. Robyn has a pet falcon named Merlyn, and their relationship goes beyond the pet and master trope. Mebh and her pack of wolves are just as connected. And how they navigate this fictional world portrays deep respect for their environment and the life that comes from it. In the same ecosystem, we witness the opposing figures who continue to plunder without giving back to the forests, who ultimately meet their karmic demise. 

5. The Values of Friendship and Family

Of course, at the heart of the fantastical tale are modern family values: single parenthood, and *SPOILER ALERT!* the blended family setting. It is a beautiful depiction of how unorthodox family units operate in the face of adversity: brave, relentless, and unbowed. The tale also magically develops the friendship of the two girls and without exposition, explains why these family units deserve to be together. In the final scenes, the sighs of relief are conjoined with silent cheer for their happy ending.

For nearly two hours of action-packed adventure and moving storytelling, Wolfswalkers is an absolute treat for the family. Keep tissues within reach (there are lots of scenes that need it), and of course, don’t forget snacks for uninterrupted viewing pleasure. Make sure the hugs are just as ready. You’ll have the children reaching out for snuggles after the movie.

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