Directed by: Mamoru Hosoda | 116 minutes | animation, fantasy | Original Voice Cast: Kumiko Asô, Megumi Hayashibara, Takuma Hiraoka, Amon Kabe, Mone Kamishiraishi, Tomie Kataoka, Haru Kuroki, Aoi Miyazaki, Tadashi Nakamura, Yukito Nishii, Momoka Ohno, Takao Osawa, Shôta Sometani, Bunta Sugawara, Mitsio Tankiimura
You will not easily catch director Mamoru Hosoda making bloody animated films. The filmmaker deals in cheerful stories with a smile and a tear. It never gets very tragic, because the characters are too cute and innocent for that. After “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and “Summer Wars”, Hosoda again tries to conquer countless hearts with the anime “Wolf Children”. He’s making it difficult this time, because he chooses to stage werewolves. Fluffy, but not cuddly. Will it be a bloody affair after all?
Wolf Children is about Hana. It is not easy for this young single mother. She has to raise her offspring by herself. That’s tough, but it gets even harder as her two kids get older. Ame and Yuki have werewolf blood running through their veins, because their father was a werewolf.
Werewolves are associated with blood, howls in the night, red eyes and sharp claws. In “Wolf Children,” however, the iconic monsters are incredibly cute. Baby werewolf are very cuddly. No matter how sweet the children are: Hana has a hard time with it. She wants to raise her offspring as normally as possible, but how do you do that? She isolates herself from the outside world. Leave it to Hosoda to portray this crazy nonsense in an incredibly charming way. His calm narrative pace, beautiful shots of nature reserves and beautifully designed characters immediately immerse you in the story.
This is an endearing fairytale that will appeal to both children and adults. Fans of Studio Ghibli – Japan’s Walt Disney – will love this movie. This is a cute and sweet movie that somehow doesn’t get too soggy. There are a few fringes to the story. For example, parenthood is not presented too rosy and puberty is not a celebration in this film. The soundtrack and strong animation are also impressive. Nice movie.