It’s been over a year since my husband and I gave up cable and been dipping neck deep into the world of online streaming. So far we have been getting our moneys worth with Netflix, but recently I’ve been exploring the world of Amazon Prime with some of my friends.
Tonight was movie night. I prepared the dinner while my friends browsed for something to watch. When I came back from the kitchen there was this amazing trailer playing for a movie called Wolf Children. The trailer clearly stated that it was by the director who did Summer Wars, which was just amazing, so I was hooked and was excited to see it. Neat less to say that it was worth the 3 day rental for $3.99 on Amazon Prime.
The movie focuses on the narrator’s mother Hana who fell in love with a Wolf Man (werewolf). She proceeds to tell her mothers love story, and the tragedy that leads her to become a single mother who had to raise two unusual young children who are also Wolf People by the name of Yuki and Ame. Everybody knows that being a married, widowed, or a single mother is a tough job especially since there’s no book to tell you how to really raise your kids. Now imaging raising wolf cubs/kids by someone who is now raising children by herself and has no experience with wild animals.
The movie does a wonderful job in converting a difficult and normal situation for a mother with young children to be even more difficult when she is trying to hide her childrens unique condition. Simple things like having a young child being sick becomes a question between taking the child to the pediatrician or the vet.
All in all, the entire movie echoes around one question “When you grow up, do you want to be human or wolf?”. The mother sacrifices everything to make sure her two wolf kids have the chance and freedom to make up their minds when it comes to this important question in their unique lives. Hana drops her studies, gives up her life in the city, moves to the country and learns to live a simple frugal life of secrecy while learning how to live off the land like other local farmers. The movie will have moments that bring you joy and other moments that just make you cry because of how close you can relate to the main protagonist challenging situation. Is just a phenomenal story.
About the Movie
The film was produced by Studio Chizu (known for Wolf Children), and Madhouse Studios how has a very long portfolio of animated films including The Animatrix (short), Batman : Gotham Knight (short) , Death Note, Metropolis, Millenium Actress, Paprika, Paranoia Agent, Perfect Blue, Summer Wars, and Vampire Hunter D just to name a fraction of their well known work.
The story was created by Mamoru Hosoda who also co wrote the screenplay and directed the film Wolf Children. You might recognize some of his work as director in several productions for animated tv episodes, movie, animated intros and shorts such as Summer Wars, Samurai Champloo, One Piece, Superflat Monogram (short), and Digimon : Digital Monsters . He also has credentials as a writer, a worker in the animation departments, and art department in other several productions such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Girl Revolution Utena, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
Mr Hosoda life experienced in the animation industry is well reflected in the quality of his work. In 2012 the movie itself was released in 34 different countries and territories, and it was second highest grossing film in Japan on it’s day view weekend July 21-22, 2012 beating Pixar’s film Brave who was released in Japan that same weekend. On it’s opening weekend the movie grossed better than his previous movie Summer Wars (1.6 billion Yen) with an astonishing 4.2 billion yen making Wolf Children the 5th highest grossing movie in Japan of 2012. Since it’s released the movie has won several awards internationally captivating audiences all over the world.
I would love to learn more about the actual production of the film being an animation junkie my self. All in all I give this movie at 10 out of 10 especially if you are an older adult in your childbearing years (late 20’s to 30’s). You will find a lot in common with Hana and the challenges she faces to provide for her family. Sorry… if you are looking for explosions, action scenes, giant robots and scary blood thirsty monsters this movie might not be for you. If you would like to see a good solid story about human capability, perseverance, sacrifice, family, love and complex relationships between several characters this movie is for you. Love it. I must buy a disk copy for my collection in my bookshelf.
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