#FearlessFridays is dedicated to celebrating the individual journeys of characters from the GKIDS collection. With this series, we hope to spotlight the experiences of familiar faces from timeless classics, as well as the unsung heroes of hidden gems.
SPOILER WARNING: This post features significant plot details from “Wolfwalkers.”
Salutations, reader! For our first Fearless Friday, we’re highlighting Robyn from the Oscar-nominated film Wolfwalkers from Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart and Cartoon Saloon.
Robyn is a girl who dreams of breaking free of her societal role, hoping to join her father’s quest to hunt down the wolves that roam the forest outside her city. However, through forbidden friendships and mysterious magic, she discovers a secret connection to those woods beyond her wildest imagination.
When we are first introduced to Robyn, we quickly learn of her skill in archery, and her aspirations of becoming a hunter. Unfortunately, her goals are undermined by city-dwellers young and old, who look down on her and underestimate her ability. As a girl, Robyn is expected to perform household labor in the scullery, washing clothes and scrubbing floors day in and day out.
Her time in the scullery is colored with hues of grey, as Robyn is forced to carry out the same tasks for hours on end. In contrast, her heart yearns for the vivid and daring life of the woods, shown by the film’s artists in brilliant orange and green.
It’s through Robyn’s adventures in the wilderness that we’re able to see yet another of her fearless acts: befriending Mebh the Wolfwalker. Although she grew up singing songs of hunting wolves and was ordered by authority figures to stay away from them, Robyn opens her heart to Mebh, a girl with the power to transform into a wolf.
She vows to protect Mebh, Mebh’s mother, and their wolf pack from being hunted. This courageous decision meant risking rejection from everyone in her city— from the Lord Protector to her own father. Nevertheless, Robyn chooses to lead and act out of love instead of judgement.
Robyn’s fearlessness is both enlightening and relatable, because being true to yourself and following your heart can often be met with a lot of backlash. Robyn shows us that choosing to be caring and strong in the face of naysayers is necessary for positive, lasting change.
It may surprise you to know that one of the core elements of Robyn’s character arc, her rejection of her prescribed societal role as a girl, almost didn’t make it into the film!
Directors Tomm More and Ross Stewart initially wrote a draft with Robyn as a boy, before realizing it didn’t quite make sense for the story they wanted to tell. To the Los Angeles Times, Stewart stated that with “a girl, then it’s not just going to be [her father] saying ‘You can’t be a hunter… All of society, especially this Puritan overlord society, would be like, ‘No, a girl’s place is inside doing dishes and making food and looking after the kids.’”
Not only was making Robyn a girl a better choice for setting up her journey, but it also enhanced the nature of her relationship with Mebh.
What are some of your favorite fearless moments from Wolfwalkers? Let us know by mentioning us on social and using the hashtag #FearlessFridays!
You can catch the Academy Award nominated film, Wolfwalkers, streaming now on AppleTV+, or find a showtime near you!
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