Wolf Children

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 50
  2. Negative: 8 out of 50

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    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!
  2. Jun 5, 2014
    5
    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 proverbialIs 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 clichés 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. Expand
  3. Jul 14, 2014
    10
    Mamoru Hosoda has been called the next Miyazaki, though after this movie I think he might be even better, though I haven't watched Summer Wars so I'll have to do that before I decide. Though until then this movie is amazing, I mean this is probably my favorite movie I've watched thus far. Why is it? because it feels unbelievably well done in absolutely every way. In the animation the movieMamoru Hosoda has been called the next Miyazaki, though after this movie I think he might be even better, though I haven't watched Summer Wars so I'll have to do that before I decide. Though until then this movie is amazing, I mean this is probably my favorite movie I've watched thus far. Why is it? because it feels unbelievably well done in absolutely every way. In the animation the movie looks unbelievable, I mean it (like most Japanese animation) pays very little attention to detail but it makes up for this in making the world look beautiful in it's simplicity and it's scale. In terms of the music, it's the emotional kind, fitting into the scenarios perfectly while even by itself making you feel the emotions it gives of. But I should probably get into what movies are about the story, I don't want to give to much away so basically I'll say this: it's about a student called Hana who meets a man who she falls in love with who turns out to be a wolf, eventually they get married and have children but the father dies, and now Hana has to bring up the Wolf Children (see what I did there). So it's a coming of age story but done unbelievably well, and by far the best part about it is that the characters grow in ways that change them overtime in a realistic way. Now you still may be wondering why I favor this over Miyazaki, and yes I actually have many reasons. First of all I feel that with Miyazaki he doesn't like to explain many things, I mean he creates these worlds or beings and then just leaves them, while that sometimes helps in My Neighbor Totoro or Nausicaa, it usually feels jarring (even in those movies). With Hosoda it feels like he explains things well and leaves me without many questions, lingering in my head about the movie (in other words it works much better as an individual story as opposed to movies which feel like they were designed with sequels in mind). And that's about it, I mean there are a few very small problems, like there's a female nipple for like 3 seconds and the cars are CGI (why does all anime do that). But other then that it's perfect and you should watch it... like right now... seriously. Expand
  4. Mar 23, 2014
    10
    Perhaps the most honest cinematic portrayal of the experience of being a human parent is this cartoon about werewolf kids. The drawn characters hold more authentic life than 99% of live action movie counterparts. It's also visually gorgeous.
  5. Jul 24, 2014
    10
    (german)
    Was für eine Überraschung! Hab mir den Film blind gekauft und zähle ihn zu den besten Animé bzw. Zeichentrickfilmen. Rein objektiv gesehen würde ich ihn sogar als den besten überhaupt bezeichnen. Ame & Yuki ist ein Tribut an alle warmherzigen Mütter dieser Welt, der Parallellen zum Erwachsenwerden aufweist. Besonders gefallen hat mir die Tatsache, dass er nicht nur die für Mütter
    (german)
    Was für eine Überraschung! Hab mir den Film blind gekauft und zähle ihn zu den besten Animé bzw. Zeichentrickfilmen. Rein objektiv gesehen würde ich ihn sogar als den besten überhaupt bezeichnen. Ame & Yuki ist ein Tribut an alle warmherzigen Mütter dieser Welt, der Parallellen zum Erwachsenwerden aufweist. Besonders gefallen hat mir die Tatsache, dass er nicht nur die für Mütter schönen Momente zeigt, sondern auch die Momente, in denen sie lernen müssen loszulassen. Hier stimmt von vorne bis hinten einfach alles.
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  6. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    Mamoru Hosoda's work in this film was amazing, the concept of a daughter telling the story of her parents was sort of Unique and and the main character is a very strong character after a small incident in the story as she raises two kids of her own who are not exactly normal as they are half wolf, half human and is a completely new experience for her during the 12-13 years of the story ofMamoru Hosoda's work in this film was amazing, the concept of a daughter telling the story of her parents was sort of Unique and and the main character is a very strong character after a small incident in the story as she raises two kids of her own who are not exactly normal as they are half wolf, half human and is a completely new experience for her during the 12-13 years of the story of raising her children ame and yuuki. its a film best for family, friends and loved ones to watch as there are good moments and sad moments. the only issue i had with the film it had to end but then again it is just about 2 hours but i give it a straight full marks on the story, art style and it's outside of studio ghibli so its Hosoda vs Miyazaki Expand
  7. Jan 8, 2014
    9
    Probably the best anime I have seen recently. From the director of 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' gives us this wonderful fantasy-drama. This movie is kinda resembling Miyazaki's 'My Neighbour Totoro', only the place it takes place and a bit with the characters. Other than that it is an awesome movie with a totally fresh concept as per my knowledge.

    All the three main characters, a
    Probably the best anime I have seen recently. From the director of 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' gives us this wonderful fantasy-drama. This movie is kinda resembling Miyazaki's 'My Neighbour Totoro', only the place it takes place and a bit with the characters. Other than that it is an awesome movie with a totally fresh concept as per my knowledge.

    All the three main characters, a mother and her two kids were lovable. Aoi Miyazaki never stops impressing me where she appears here as a mother. Her roles from various movies are always coming with a surprise who peaking high and higher, she really rocks. The two kids' characters as well very adorable. Like the two sisters in 'My Neighbour Totoro' these two made the movie look great. Actually it was a tale about a mother who raises two wolf children. As a single parent, her hard work and dedication to the kids to grow up having a normal and happy childhood she must sacrifice her life.

    When her husband dies, Hana must take care of the kids where she lacks the knowledge of their kind to give support. She finds difficulties in city to raise them so she decides to move to a rural where she can cut the communications with the other humans. Growing her own vegetables in the backyard, facing the different seasons and going through all the ups and down in life she almost achieves her ambition.

    It did not look like an anime movie, it looked almost a real one with many cool and colourful frames. The story commenced with a nice love story with a little heartbreak. Then the most enjoyable parts begin with lots of laughs until the approach of the end where it brings lots of emotions before concluding with a powerful howl. It had very nice background score in all the crucial portion of the tale. In other word to say, the movie was just like what I expected and more than that. I felt the movie was short and was not ready to accept the end. You know, it is better being short and sweet than with unnecessary drag in a tale. This is a movie that everyone will love, especially kids and families. Like I said if you are a die hard 'My Neighbour Totoro' movie fan then you must not miss it. So highly recommended by me.
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  8. Oct 26, 2014
    10
    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
  9. Mar 28, 2016
    9
    Hey, I made a video review of Wolf Children, which I'm super proud of and you can watch it right here: https://youtu.be/0ASa5RBitS4

    But if you prefer reading, here you go: Do you miss studio Ghibli? I do too sometimes and It seems like there aren't many anime directors out there, who can scratch the same itch that now retired Ghibli's lead two directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao
    Hey, I made a video review of Wolf Children, which I'm super proud of and you can watch it right here: https://youtu.be/0ASa5RBitS4

    But if you prefer reading, here you go:

    Do you miss studio Ghibli? I do too sometimes and It seems like there aren't many anime directors out there, who can scratch the same itch that now retired Ghibli's lead two directors, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, have been scratching for years. But not all hope is lost. We still got Mamotu Hosoda, one of the only directors left, who can bring us animations up to par, with Ghibli's masterpieces. Although Wolf Children is very different in tone from Miyazkis work, it shares some similarities in what it can achieve. Ghibli movies always brought us unique experiences, that you couldn't get from watching other anime and if you've seen any of the Ghibli films, you know what I'm talking about. Similar to Secret world of Arietty and Howls moving castle, Wolf Children is a film that I really want to show to my kids (when and if I have any), but it's also a movie, that adults can enjoy just as much, if not more, because of all the massages it's trying to convey. It has the same kind of charm and magic, that keeps you smiling and invested the whole way through and it has a message that keeps you thinking, even after the credits role.

    I know it gets kinda boring to listen to the plot summery for half an hour, so I'll try to be brief. Wolf children starts off by being narrated by a girl, who explains that this is a story about her mother Hana. Hana meets a guy, who she falls in love with and later reveals a secret, that he has been holding his whole life. He is a werewolf. So instead of loading a shout gun and hunting him with silver bullets, they make babies instead. They give birth to a daughter and one year later to a son. They handled the birth at home by themselves, because of fear that they would come out as wolves. The father tragically passes away after the son's birth and It's up to Hana to raise the Wolf Children Yuki and Ame herself.

    This a story about a mother, who is tying raise two very difficult kids. Raising two kids in itself is hard, but you can only imagine, how hard it would be raising two kids, that are half wolfs. How do you raise kids, knowing nothing about their nature? If they get sick, do you take them to the vet or a normal doctor? Or neither? What happens, if people find out about their true nature? Should you try and deny them of their wolf form or should you let them choose, whether they want to hunt in the forest or not. What if they attack humans? Should you let them have fun with other kids and risk them turning into wolfs, at any given time, knowing they have no self- control at young age? Lots of questions, all of which are explored in the film. It's physically harder, because wolfs tear **** up, hunt other animals and are way more lively than normal kids, but the hardest thing is still just normal parenting, especially in this unusual scenario. And this is where the movie really gets you invested. As I saw the struggles Hana was going through, trying to provide for her kids, without leaving the house, because that would mean leaving two wildlings alone, trying to keep them from fighting and so on, I really felt for her. She was a very good and likable character, that I could relate to my parents. It really got me thinking about my beloved mother and everything she had to deal with while raising me and the thing she still has to do to this day. I realized just how hard working my mom is. She is the hardest working person I've ever known. She had to feed me every day, for 21 years', multiple times a day. Wake up every morning, until I was 18, just so I could wake up and go to school. She had to have enough control, to keep me away from drugs and all the bad influences. Worry about me, every time I stayed out and didn't pick up my phone and every time I was late from school. She had to make sure that I will grow up to be a good person who is dependable, honest, caring and have all the other good qualities. And most importantly try to make and keep me healthy and happy. She did all of that and much, much more for me, plus my younger brother, at the same time. It made me realize, that every time I got mad at her for telling me what to do, she was only looking out for me and I was breaking her heart a little, every time I wasn't obeying her. And I always took those things for granted. By the end of this year, I'm probably moving away from her, to go study at a university and she is probably scared and concerned, if she thought me and gave me enough for me to look out for myself and stay out of trouble. If I can stay happy and healthy. This movie made me realize and think about all that and I'm still lost in thought, as I'm reviewing it. If any medium can do all that, it's definitely doing a lot of things right.

    Sorry, I couldn't fit every thing here, you can watch the conclusion to the review in my video :)
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Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Oct 22, 2015
    50
    It ultimately proves both narratively unsatisfying and emotionally lacking, and if it proves that Hosoda is an artist, it also suggests he’s got some way to go as a storyteller before he’ll be ranked with Miyazaki and co.
  2. Reviewed by: Curtis Woloschuk
    Nov 3, 2013
    80
    Enchanting.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Michael
    Oct 24, 2013
    80
    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.