Wolf Children is an anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda and released on 2012. The movie really hits hard in the feels department. It follows the story of a young mother who gave birth to two “wolf children” with a werewolf and how she manages her life to take care of them.
The story of wolf children is quite interesting as it asks the question of “how would a normal human manage to take care of really special children that can turn into a wolf?” Most of mainstream media that has vampires or werewolves in them usually pit the mythical creatures against humans or other creatures in a bloody battle or some love story about the forbidden love between the two species. This movie decided to focus on a story that is rarely, if ever, touched.
Mamoru Hosoda managed to make a normal rural life interesting by creating drama that is believable. Not only are the drama believable, it is also relatable. You can relate to the failures faced by the characters, their worries, hopes and joys. There is this one beautifully crafted scene where the mother and her two children runs across a pure white field with snow. You feel as if you were there running with them, experiencing their joy. That is the kind of rush you feel when watching the film.
As with all Mamoru Hosoda films, the character are perhaps the best part about the movie. The characters in this film aren’t exactly great alone, but when all those characters interact together, it becomes one great unit. It’s like a bowl of ramen – the noodles alone, the broth alone or the seaweed alone is nothing special, but put all those together in a delicate balance and it becomes something amazing. The characters in Wolf Children are exactly like that.
What’s more amazing is how the children characters in this film are so well rounded. You rarely ever feel like the wolf children in this movie are just one thing; never “just annoying”, but also sometimes lovable and cute, sometimes naive and innocent, and also annoying all at the same time, and that is how kids are. You will feel like these characters are grounded and natural, even as you see them grow and transition from a child to a young teen.
The animation is this movie is just spectacular in its own regard. It may not have the flair and bombastic sparks of action anime like Fate Unlimited Blade Works, but its animation has a certain magic to it. It’s like Disney’s classic animation movies. It doesn’t have any shiny effects but the simplicity and clean styles gives it magic. If I had to compare, the animation reminds me greatly of Studio Ghibli’s animation with its simple and clean animation.
This movie is really quite special. It gives you a different feeling when you watch it in different points of life. If you watch it as a young kid, you may want to have the cool ability of turning into a wolf. If you watch it as an adult, you may instead admire and want to become like the mother character; strong, independent, and willing to smile in the face of challenges. This movie just has something for everyone and I would recommend this to all my friends.