Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Oct 24, 2013
    The movie is hauntingly romantic at heart, in the best spirit of a Gothic fairytale, but without the harsh shadows or hard edges.
  2. Reviewed by: Curtis Woloschuk
    Nov 3, 2013
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Michael
    Oct 24, 2013
    Telling the story through the eyes of the harried, bereaved but indomitable mother gives this calm, funny, only occasionally schmaltzy family film a maturity Twilight never reached.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 26, 2013
    Wolf Children is rather an odd story, told in a one-of-a-kind style that feels equal parts sentimental, somber and strange.
  5. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Oct 22, 2013
    This anime feature takes an intriguing premise and does little with it. The detailed Ghibli-esque visuals are decent enough, but this is disappointingly bland.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Dec 9, 2013
    All I can say about this movie is that it is simply beautiful! The art, animation, voice acting in both the original Japanese version and in the English dub, the story, everything. I actually found myself feeling many emotions while watching it. If you were to ask me for my recommendation, well you got it! Full Review »
  2. Jun 5, 2014
    Is Mamoru Hosoda the new Hayao Miyazaki? Not if he continues to make movies like this he won't. Hosoda seems to have a strange tendency to be able to direct a decent, interesting half of a movie, and after that half-mark he just panics and tries to wing it, having no idea what to do next. This was evident in Summer Wars, and it is evident here. Wolf children tries hard to be the proverbial "My Neighbor Totoro" of Hosoda, and fails almost entirely. The first half of the movie is interesting enough, you sit there with more interest than most anime movies, but not with the same enrapturement that you get from Miyazaki films, it goes about it's way, providing an interesting foundation for the rest of the movie to build upon. It's pretty entertaining (minus the boarder-line furry yiff fantasy scene) but the rest of the movie fails to deliver the promise of the movie's premise. The second half of the movie tries its hardest to be a profound, family story that's heartwarming and enthralling, but it is just filled to the brim with anime clich├ęs and archetypes. The plot becomes way to predictable for its own good, and then it becomes boring, and almost exhausting to watch as you see characters enact their predictable archs with the dopey, happy-go-lucky female, they independent, adventurous girl, and the emo, selfish reserved kid whose 'life changing revelation' happens to include being a dick to someone he shouldn't be a dick to, and the whole plot ultimately fails to deliver both its message and just fails to be entertaining. The animation is pretty good for the most part, it certainly isn't eye candy, but it delivers, that is until it decides it wants to mix in some ugly 3D animation with the traditional, and that just comes off as lazy. Hosoda's style also just doesn't carry much charm and isn't very detailed, so it overall is a so-so film when it comes to visuals. The voice acting is actually pretty good, if only the characters it was representing weren't so flat, the voice overs could have carried the movie a bit more. The sound effects and music is pretty forgettable, and music is key in presenting moods and carrying much of the movie's magic, so this is a pretty big blow to this movie overall as you see dead serious scenes that cause you to laugh, that partially being due to music. The movie isn't entirely bad after the first half though, there are still some scene that can make you smile, some character interactions that make you feel something, but these are small, and far in between. Hosoda is very ambitious, but he lacks both the talent and the know-how it seems. He makes some decent ideas, but if it's not one thing holding the movie back, it's another thing holding it back. He has the necessary components to make a decent film, but he just can't seem to bring it all together. If he was a baker, he could make a recipe for a five-layer cake that just sounds amazing, and be able to make the first and maybe second layer, but after that the cake begins to get sloppy, it begins to look dull, and the only thing that keeps the cake from toppling over are sticks he props against the cake. If he can eventually get the skill, and the experience to keep a story together, and execute it right, and hit all those high notes, he could be a pretty good director, not the next Miyazaki by a long shot, but definitely a pretty good anime director. This movie is better than his last movie, Summer Wars, but it still isn't good. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2014
    this movie is amazing it has a great story of a family trying to live a normal life under difficult circumstances with some of the best animation ever to come out of japan i was really worried this was gonna be a twilight clone but it most certainly is not and it has further convinced me that Mamoru Hosoda is one of the best directors working today Full Review »