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Among the actors who make up the Wolfwalkers cast, Sean Bean is, admittedly, one name you are most likely to recognize. However, he is just one voice out of many to take note of when streaming the AppleTV+ original film.
Directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, the animated movie follows a young girl aspiring to be a hunter just like her father, who has been tasked to eliminate a pack of wolves for an Irish village in the mid-17th Century. However, she has a change of heart after befriending a girl from a tribe of humans known as “wolfwalkers,” who are not only said to be able to communicate with, but actually take the form of the animal by night. Things become even more complicated when she finds herself becoming one of them.
Wolfwalkers completes Cartoon Saloon’s trilogy of hand-drawn films inspired by folklore legends, which began with Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees The Secret of Kells from 2009 and 2014’s Song of the Sea. This is Sean Bean’s first time working with the Irish animation studio, who have been known to use some of the same actors in their films (including the masterminds behind the project), and this film is no exception. To get a better idea of whose voices you should expect to hear when the film film drops on Apple TV+ on Friday, December 11, we take a closer look at the cast, starting with its young central heroine.
Honor Kneafsey (Robyn Goodfellowe)
Leading the cast of Wolfwalkers as the voice of a young hunter who suddenly becomes her prey at night is 16-year-old Honor Kneafsey. Robyn Goodfellowe is the first voice acting role for the British actress who has starred in various projects for the big and small screen alike, such as a pair of brief appearances on Sherlock and arguably her best known performance in Neftlix’s 2017 romantic holiday comedy A Christmas Prince and its sequels as Princess Emily.
Eva Whittaker (Mebh Óg MacTíre)
Making her feature-length film debut in Wolfwalkers is Eva Whittaker as the voice of Mebh Óg MacTíre - a free-spirited girl from the titular tribe whom Robyn strikes up an unexpected friendship with, leading to her unexpected metamorphosis. The 11-year-old actress has previously appeared in a Stranger Things-esque comedy short called The Girl at the End of the Garden in 2019 as well as a few TV commercials from her native country of Ireland.
Sean Bean (Bill Goodfellowe)
Ireland is where Bill (Sean Bean), accompanied by his daughter, Robyn, has been chosen to journey to in hopes of ridding a village of the numerous wolves that have put its locals in fear. Voicing a renowned hunter in a period fantasy seems like a natural fit for the British, 61-year-old star of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Game of Thrones (for the first season, at least). Hopefully, his Wolfhunters character does not come to a bitter end - which is the same fate most of Bean’s characters tend to suffer.
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Moll MacTíre)
Sean Bean also delved into more cosmic fantasy in 2014 with the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending alongside Maria Doyle Kennedy - an Irish actress also known for films and TV shows of a great variety, such as the 2016 musical Sing Street, the BBC’s Emmy-winning sci-fi drama Orphan Black, and the hit Scottish fantasy series Outlander on Starz. She provides the voice of Moll MacTíre, the leader of the titular wolfwalkers and mother of Mebh.
Simon McBurney (Oliver Cromwell)
Maria Doyle Kennedy has tried her hand at horror with The Conjuring 2 alongside Simon McBurney - an English veteran actor and no stranger to fantasy roles either, including Kreacher in the first half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Runyan Millworthy on Carnival Row - an Amazon Prime original series. The 63-year-old is the voice of Oliver Cromwell, the main antagonist of Wolfwalkers who is also referred to a “The Lord Protector” by members of his kingdom in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Tommy Tiernan (Sean Óg Woodcutter)
Playing one of the Kilkenny natives, Sean Óg Woodcutter, in Wolfwalkers is Tommy Tiernan, who is one of Ireland’s most successful stand-up acts and comedic actors, where he is know from the sitcom Small Potatoes, starring opposite Game of Thrones’ Aiden Gillan in a 2018 biopic about Irish comic David Allen, and more recently as the father of the central character in Derry Girls. However, Americans may recognize him from the 2017 video for Ed Sheehan’s “Galway Girl,” which fellow Irish performer Saorse Ronan is the star of.
Jon Kenny (Ned Stringy Woodcutter)
Tommy Tiernan also appeared on the popular Irish sitcom Father Ted, as did native Jon Kenny, who also voices a member of the Woodcutter clan. Wolfwalkers is the second collaboration with Cartoon Saloon after Song of the Sea for the 63-year-old actor and writer, who is also known for the 1998 adaptation of Les Misérables and the late Alan Parker’s Oscar-nominated period piece Angela’s Ashes in 1999.
John Morton (Stumpy Woodcutter)
Playing another one of the the Woodcutters from Kilkenny in Wolfwalkers is John Morton, who actually was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, where he has also found success an actor, writer, and director best known for comedies like his feature-length directorial debut Skegs & Skangers in 2002. However, he has also played a grown-up Max in a spin-off short from Where the Wild Things Are, an imaginary Charlie Chaplin in the 2006 fantasy Lily’s Bad Day (which he also wrote) and, most recently, co-created a six-episode, 19th-century crime thriller in 2020 called Dead Still, which stars many actors both Irish and American audiences may recognize.
Paul Young (Sheep Farmer)
John Morton has also collaborated on a number of projects with Paul Young, who is not only credited as the voice of a sheep farmer in Wolfwalkers, but is also a producer on the film, as well as the CEO and co-founder of Cartoon Saloon. In addition to several other voice roles and writing credits, he also produces the Netflix animated series Puffin Rock (starring Chris O’Dowd), the Amazon Prime original cartoon The Bug Diaries, and shares an Oscar nomination with fellow Cartoon Saloon pioneer Tomm Moore for Song of the Sea.
Nora Twomey (Bridget)
Additionally known as a co-founder of Cartoon Saloon and producer on Wolfwalkers is Nora Twomey, who provides the voice of a housekeeper named Bridget in the film. She also lends her voice to and co-directs The Secret of Kells with Tomm Moore; is the sole director of the Angelina Jolie-produced Oscar-nominated animated feature The Breadwinner; and co-created another recent Cartoon Saloon series called Dorg Van Dango.
What do you think? Will you be listening more carefully to the voices you hear when you watch Wolfwalkers, or are you more interested in that uniquely striking, hand-drawn animation? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the magical AppleTV+ exclusive film, as well as even more inside looks at the cast members of your favorite (or most anticipated) movies and TV shows, here on CinemaBlend.