It’s not often that I experience something that leaves me with a pleasant sense of okayness. This kind of feeling that what I experienced was just as much as I needed to without that thing overstaying its welcome. Wolf Children certainly gave me that feeling and I’d like to talk about it a little bit. I’m not even entirely sure what I’ll say since it has left me a little bewildered.
The general overview of the story is that our protagonist (the gal in the image above) meets up with a wolfman. He shows her his sexy wolf mane and then they make sweet sexy wolf sex. You might be thinking “Oh, they had sex while he was in human form.” You’d be wrong. She has back to back children and then we get to watch the events leading from that moment up until the ending. I want to say more because this film does something weird. I think this movie is at its best when you know what is going to happen in the broadest sense. Knowing what tropes this movie will not be exploring would go a long way in making it less stressful and more of a visual and writing experience.
The characters in this story are very well written. I can’t really complain. For the most part I was introduced to a series of people that I’d like to meet. From the crotchety old man, to the children, to the mother, and everyone in between. Each of them had this wonderful life to them that felt genuine and unforced. Similarly the English voice acting is top notch and never grating. This is some of the best talent choices I’ve experienced in…well a very long time.
The story itself is actually pretty darn good. It’s a slice of life story which is exactly what it sounds like. Abrupt beginning and an abrupt end. These things always leave me wanting more but I end up understanding that they might go too far and spoil it. For me this kind of story is one I’d rather exist within than learn about or watch second hand. That off the beaten path life is one that I do find dreamy and the house they live in for the majority of the film is equally exciting.
So why is it then that I feel like this film was just okay? I can’t quite put my finger on it. It doesn’t really wow me. I’m not expecting avengers either, The Secret World of Arrietty is amazing and has much the same formula. It has an abrupt beginning, believable characters, and an abrupt end. I walked away from it feeling the desire to have more. But there isn’t more to be had.
But when I say it is okay I mean that in the nicest possible way. I really think that anyone interested in cinema or animated films should check this out. this isn’t “anime” much like Studio Ghibli films are not. It’s high quality and really charming. One of those rare experiences where I think me telling you more about it would be better than worse. This is not a story about surprises but more about experiencing the life of a family in the strangest of circumstances.
I’m at odds with myself. But this is why I changed the “average” review rating to “okay”. This isn’t an average film. Heck when I see the cover I think “I want to watch this.” Perhaps its that mental blue balling that it gives you at the end that has me cross. It acts a bit like eden of the east. But where that series ended up trying to cram too much into too little time, I feel like this gives you the teaser to something greater.
I like it. It’s one of the best okay things I’ve ever seen. Go give it a watch.