Wolf Children: I’d give it a Howling Review

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Wolf Children: I’d give it a Howling Review

Jordan McCusker

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Wolf Children (2012) is a beautiful movie about a mother who has to figure out how to raise her two kids who are half human and half wolf. Hana (Colleen Clinkenbeard) is a college student who one day notices a strange man in her class. After he leaves, Hana chases after him and the two hit it off. The man turns out to be a werewolf (David Matranga) and the two have two kids together. But after the father dies, Hana is left alone to figure out how to raise two wolf children all by herself.

Wolf Children is a Japanese animated movie, better known as an anime. Although this movies appeals to and is suitable for kids, it was clearly targeted at an older audience, focusing on Hana as a single parent. This film doesn’t alleviate things and although it has fantasy elements, those elements don’t create a way for everything to magically be solved. Hana’s husband doesn’t come back to life, her kids stays wolves and they have to learn how to survive in our judgmental society.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this film was its atmosphere and nostalgia. Watching this film was breathtaking and created an overall cheerful atmosphere. I first watched this movie with my family in our living room and I remember I couldn’t stop smiling. The way Hana took care of her kids had reminded me of a lot of times my sister and I had spent as a kid and it was nice reliving those memories.

Another thing I enjoyed about the movie was the animation. The colors are very vibrant and the animation is very fluid. Grass bends in the wind like it’s alive as well as the people’s hair. Humans have simplistic designs but have very expressive emotions and you can tell a lot of times how someone feels even if they don’t say anything. Everything feels so alive even though all the animation is hand drawn and that adds to the overall atmosphere of the film.

Although this a wonderful movie, everything has it’s faults and flaws and this is no exception. One thing about the movie is that it has a narrator but the narrator is Hana’s daughter Yuki and not Hana. Although it is interesting to hear her daughter narrate her life, it felt a bit out of place and it would have been nice to hear Hana tell her own story. Another thing that isn’t that great is that we don’t get a lot of backstory on Hana’s husband. There are a few questions at the end I had that never got answered.

Hana’s two children, Yuki and Ame (Jad saxton and Micah Solusod)  are just like any other kids, full of energy, constantly making messes, chewing on furniture and other things. As they grow older they become more aware of their circumstances, they are at one point asked a difficult question. “If you could only be one, would you be a human or a wolf?” This is a journey for both kids as they discover who they are and the path that each chooses is surprising.

Honestly, I think this is a very beautiful film that almost anyone could enjoy. The negatives I had with this film were nitpicky, and I wish I could see this film for the first time all over again. I would give this film a 4.8 out of 5 for it’s spectacular animation, loveable characters and endearing story and recommend it for any family night. The movie isn’t perfect but to me it came very close and I feel a 4 out of 5 doesn’t give it justice.

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