As of today, Wolf Children is my all-time favorite anime “movie” (feature length, stand-alone film). I must’ve watched it 20 times or more by now. If you love Studio Ghibli films, you’ve got to check out Wolf Children. It’s not a Ghibli film, but it feels like it should be one. It has the same things that make Ghibli films so endearing. A heart warming tale of a family and a coming of age story, which in the end has an important message or two to leave with the viewer.
In this case, Wolf Children drives home a message about loving your children, no matter who they choose to grow up to be, a very important message for any parent to embrace in this day and age. You cannot change your children. Some day they will grow up and leave home, and all you can do is try to raise them with love and kindness and hope they make the best decisions for themselves. You don’t have to agree with their decisions, but you need to realize they are their own person. And also in a family with multiple children, you will find that each child is unique and needs handled differently.
Title: Wolf Children
Genre: Family, Supernatural, Fantasy, Drama, Slice of Life
Studio: Madhouse / Studio Chizu
Release Date: 2012
Where to Buy: You can get the DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack on Amazon for $19.99 here http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Children…
Overall: 42/45 93% A- “Excellent Anime for Girls”
Story: 10/10 As I mentioned above, Wolf Children is a family film, about learning to let go and accept your children even when they aren’t “perfect”. Wolf Children explores these concepts without cramming them down your throat through use of anthropomorphism (giving human like qualities to animal characters). Ame and Yuki, the two wolf cubs of our story, were born out of love between a human and (what could best be described as) werewolf. Tragedy strikes when their father cannot resist his urge to hunt in order to provide for the new family, leaving their mother alone to raise the two cubs. She is unable to even go to a hospital for the birth or have any help because she is not sure what would happen if they were born as wolves instead of humans. As the cubs grow they begin to cause problems for their mother with her neighbors due to the thin walls in the apartment and their constant howling. So the mom decides to move her cubs to the country where they can be happy and be themselves and not have to worry about the neighbors. Eventually as the cubs grow they go through many changes. The girl wants to be more human and go to school. The boy is more shy and avoids humans. He prefers to learn from nature and the animals of the mountains where they live. The mother at first struggles with her children’s independence, wanting to always keep them safe and protect them, but eventually throughout the movie, the children continue to grow, and the mother ultimately realizes she must accept that they are capable of making their own decisions.
Characters: 9/10 Not gonna lie, Yuki’s exuberance as a puppy really got on my nerves – I had a tough time liking her character at first. But – when I think about it, isn’t that how puppies in real life are? They are destructive, curious, hyper, over excitable, etc. AND her exuberance was a nice contrast from her brother who was very frail and timid. Their differences were highlighted nicely and it made each of their characters stand out more. I also enjoyed the mother and her love for her cubs and dedication to doing anything it took to ensure their happiness and giving them the freedom to become who they wished to become. The character growth and development is also a key highlight of this anime. Yuki goes from that mischievous pup, to someone who wishes to be more mature and lady like, while Ame becomes strong willed, independent, and more adventurous. Watching that change and evolution is really one of the best parts of this anime; It’s like watching them grow up right before your eyes.
Artwork: 4/5 There’s nothing “wrong” with this artwork, in fact it’s “damn good” – I just would have liked them to have explored their own art style, instead of drawing so much inspiration from Studio Ghibli. That said, while it does borrow a lot of Ghibli, it is still beautiful – especially the backgrounds. The character style has a hint of realism, and lots of fantasy and charm as well. It’s also sure to be a hit with any furries out there.
Music: 5/5 Wolf children has a very emotionally moving and touching soundtrack that adds to the sentimental feeling throughout the film. This film really tugs at the heart, and the music I think played a big role in creating that immersion and highlighting many of the key scenes of the film
Voice Acting: 4/5 I didn’t really like Yuki’s voice actress. I dunno why. I just didn’t. I do think it fit the character, but it made it even more annoying and painful for me – Her voice actress captured her spirited, spunky personality – which to give her credit, is exactly what she was supposed to do, but it just grated on my nerves. Everyone else was also perfectly cast and delivered powerful and emotional performances that helped bring their characters to life.
Overall: 42/45 93% A- “Excellent Anime for Girls”