Wolf Children (2012)

Wolf Children

Genre: Animation, Drama

Cast: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa

Synopsis: After a night of wild sex with a wolf-man, a young woman gives birth to two children who are part human and part wolf so she moves to the countryside to give them a better life.

This is a weird movie. Even ignoring the part where the main character has sex with a wolf-man, there’s something very unusual and novel about this movie. When I saw the poster for it, I thought Wolf Children would be some creepy furry-porn which would allow sexually confused Japanese schoolgirls to cry “moe.” However, I was surprised to find a remarkably touching and human tale about a young mother struggling to raise her two children. It’s the sort of movie I am sure all parents can relate to and, even if you are not a parent, it will allow you to understand some of the choices your parents made when you were younger.

Typical to every movie directed by Mamoru Hosoda, Wolf Children is beautifully and intricately animated. The level of detail in some of the scenes is incredible. My favourite scene was the one where the wolf children play in the snow. I’m not an animation expert but I imagine that snow is one of the hardest things to animate and this movie manages to do it in quite an innovative way. Also, there’s something romantic about Japan in the snow. In London is just turns into a sickly grey slush and if you throw a snow ball you have about a 50 per cent chance that it will contain a dog turd or a needle. The great thing about this film is that it manages to maintain an element of whimsy, fantasy and beauty which is reflected in the animation. What’s even more impressive though is that the film manages to present that element of fantasy without compromising the film’s human core.

The characters and human drama in this movie are very well constructed on an emotional level. The grief the mother feels when her partner dies is heart-breaking and all the more terrible when you see there happy family life montage snapshot. Similarly, the scene where one of the kids falls in the river has a really good emotional impact. The writers and animators should be very proud of themselves for catching such a vivid depiction of humanity in a film which has such a crazy plot.

If I’m being honest, I think part of the reason I liked this movie so much was because I could see part of my life in it. When my mum and my dad divorced, my mum decided to move to the countryside to be closer to her parents and because raising three children in London when you’re a single parent isn’t exactly an appealing option. When I was really young, I loved living in the countryside. When I was a teenager, I fucking hated it and I could never understand why my mum decided to leave London. I started to understand when I began living in London. It was so easy to see my mum in the main character and also my twin brother and myself in the wolf children. Looking back on it, we were little shits…maybe all children are. Still, I take it as a good sign that I’m beginning to appreciate the actions of my parents. It makes me think one day that I’ll be ready to have my own kids. Now I just have to win the lottery because kids are bloody expensive and there aren’t any beautiful abandoned houses anywhere near me which I can conveniently occupy rent-free.

High-lights:

  • Beautiful animation mixed with touching and universal human drama.
  • I want the house that they live in so bad!
  • I also want a wise old fox as an animal friend. I mean, we get foxes her in the city and I’ve seen quite a few but I wouldn’t want to make friends with any of them. They’re just after the KFC in my trash bags.

Downers:

  • The feels! They overwhelm me at times.
  • The bestiality scene….this pic summarises my thoughts pretty accurately.

Summary:

It may not be quite as good as Summer Wars but Wolf Children manages to accomplish something similar: it manages to inject reality and humanity into a fantastical story. Beautifully animated and full of emotional impact, Wolf Children is definitely a film that should not be missed.

8.5/10

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7 Comments

Filed under Animation, Drama, Great

7 responses to “Wolf Children (2012)

  1. Tom

    “After a night of wild sex with a wolf-man. . .”

    Sold me.

  2. I was looking for a new Japanese animated movie to check out, and I think you sold me on this one.

  3. Pingback: Midget Horror Movie Binge | bakedmoviereviews

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