Hello everyone! I'm back to reviewing movies, animes and cartoons as I promised I would. It's been one hell of a semester in my college but I managed to get through all the work just fine and dandy, and today, I just feel as happy as ever with me buying plenty of goodies around November. No, I did not buy the goodies at Black Friday cause despise that day where people kill themselves for a bunch of goddamn plasma TV's that are old and not that new. Getting that out of the way, I will be writing this review as a dedication to my friend, Mark King II (AKA The Blue Hybrid), and my fellow friends at Planet Tyro because Spill.com has been shut down for good and it seems unlikely to come back. for those who don't know what Planet Tyro is, it's basically a group that consists on all things anime and manga on Spill.com. We talk about animes or mangas and write reviews about them, discuss news and discussions related to anime or manga. It was this group that not only got me interested in reviewing movies and cartoons but also review anime and trying my best to spread the goodness that anime can be. Seriously, I'f I haven't met Mark King II, Donwun (creator of Planet Tyro) and all those wonderful members of the group, I wouldn't be here reviewing stuff at Movieweb. Spill.com may be dead but for me, Planet Tyro lives on and I am damn proud to be part of such a kick-ass group of true anime lovers. May Spill.com rest in peace. R.I.P.
Let's get this comeback review started with Wolf Children. This is the film that I've been dying to see this year rather than FROZEN cause that movie look too much of a Tangled wanna-be but instead about The Snow Queen and after reading the entire plot of this movie, I cringed and never looked back... The plot for FROZEN is that bad. For me, Wolf Children is the kind of movie I wish modern family films can take notes on how to make a family film done right without being unnecessarily hip or pandering like the animated films that we we got this year (looking at you, Planes and Free Birds). Don't get me wrong, there are exceptions of other modern family animated films that are pretty excellent like The Croods, How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Rango, Coraline, The Incredibles, Up, Rise Of The Guardians, The Illusionist and so forth but sadly, no matter how good or well-written these movies are, audiences of today will watch corporate animated kiddie flicks that will always shove hip stuff with pop-culture modern references and will always be pandering to young toddlers that executives will repeat this trend because they win more money the more they repeat it and sadly, it will not stop with their next hip abortion The Nut Job coming in January next year (AKA: The Garbage Movie Month cause every movie in January is disposable trash). Right now, I watched Wolf Children 4 times cause from the moment the film began, I instantly was engrossed into the simple yet deep story about a young girl letting her kids grow up and choose what they want to do with their life ahead of them. Wolf Chidlren is a deep, beautifully moving and wonderful animated film that teaches us the importance of letting our children choose what they want to do in life and for the parent to raise and show his/her children the wonders of life that it offers.
Wolf Children is the story of Hana, a young girl studying in an university in Tokyo with a bright future ahead of her. Until she met a man who's not part of the university and Hana decides to spent time with him because the man wants to live life with someone that would care for who he is rather than leaving alone and not only that but the man reveals to Hana that he is, in fact, a wolf-man but strangely enough, Hana doesn't care if he is a wolf-man and wants to live with him forever. Through a montage, Hana and the wolf-man spend their days living together and moving forward with their life. Later, Hana gives birth to Yuki and Ame in the apartment but Hana discovers that the wolf-man is dead and with no choice but to raise the kids on her own in the apartment. Fearing that the secret of the wolf in the kids being exposed to the city, Hana decides to move from the city into the country because it will allow her children to learn not only about their new home but about themselves too and what they want to be when they grow up as adults.
Everything about the story just screams "brilliant" to me, Sure, it's a really simple story but Mamoru Hosoda went to great lengths into telling a story about the challenges of being a single parent raising 2 kids and how rewarding it is because it gives us the chance to prepare them for their future This may sound very "meh" to some but really, it is a wonderful message about parenting and how to help our children face the challenges from the world on their own. I love the characters in Wolf Children including Hana and she is, without a doubt, the best strong female character I ever seen in a modern animated film that puts Elsa from FROZEN into shame. Hana is a strong, confident and bright young woman that faces every mundane and challenging task in raising two children that are half-human, half-wolves. When she is feeling down, she doesn't whine about it, she cries for a while and the moment she smiles, she's back at her feet and doing her best to give her kids a happy childhood. The best thing about Hana is that no matter how hard the situation is, she laughs and smiles about it as she moves forward to face more obstacles in her way. Honestly, It makes me wish that more "teen moms" can be like Hana as hard-working, kind loving and cheerful young parents that have a positive outlook on raising children. Sadly, I doubt it will happen cause the "Teen Moms" of today are just ignorant and bitchy as they rely on being whinny, obnoxious and have their douchebag boyfriends to take care of the kids. Oh, how much I despise these shitty reality series of young dumb pregant bimbos of today. I love the kids Ame and Yuki as they feel, act, speak and react like actual kids. They play, explore their home together, help their mother, discover things together and even fight each other over dumb things. Yuki is the girl that loves to be wild while Ame is the shy boy that hates his wolf heritage but as they grow up, they change and both the kids realize that they must choose their own paths on what will they want to do in their future and when that moment comes, the kids will be on their own, in which results in one of the most tear jerking moments of happiness you will ever witness in an animated movie period. As for the side characters like the old grumpy man and the neighbors, I really enjoyed them too as all these people felt like a big huge community of earnest and hard-working people living a great life.
The animation by Studio Chizu with help from MADHOUSE is, once again stunning with backgrounds being extremely colorful and life-like with great care put into the details and the moving motion of the characters is impressive. The character designs of the wolf children is really cool and I like the designs that the animators came up with the wolves as the wolves look very majestic and with a lot of spirituality in their looks alone. The music by Takagi Masakatsu is just wonderful and easily, the best OST I've listened alongside Hans Zimmer's score in Man Of Steel. It's calm, majestic, atmospheric and very peaceful in it's musical tone. The Japanese audio track is well acted and once again, Funimation delivers a strong acted dub that exceeds my expectations extremely high. Collen Clickenbeard (AKA: the voice actress who voices Riza Hawkeye in FMA) was a perfect choice a Hana and since Collen was well-known for playing strong female anime characters, she has no problem giving depth to her Hana character. David Matranga voices the wolfman with a lot of heart and soul put into the role while Lara Woodhull and Alison Viktorin were wonderfully casted as Ame and Yuki as they nail the energy and excitement of being kids. Micah Solusod and Jad Saxton were pretty good as the older version of Ame and Yuki with some fine execution on the emotional moments that the film offers in the end.
Well, we are nearing the last month of 2013 and this is the season for film companies and audiences to throw in the obvious contenders for The Oscars. I know that the "Best Animated Feature" segment will be bullshit like always with Wolf Children and The Wind Rises not getting nominations because "they don't get anime" and instead, the nominees will be all on the modern family films with either FROZEN or Planes winning (it will happen, believe me. The Oscars, Academy Awards and the Golden Globes are pointless popularity movie contests after all) and once again, I need to flip my table in pure rage as I am waiting for the day that The Oscars get cancelled and I unleash pure wrath on their asses for their excuse of their so-called "nominations". Wolf Children is a MUST-SEE animated film for all adults and kids to see because I want families to take their kids to see animated movies that are made with love, care, honesty, patience and love put into the animated project for all families to see and witness for themselves. We need animated movies that not only we can have fun with but allow us to experience the wonders of honest storytelling in animated films like the good old days when Disney or Don Bluth use to make fun and deep animated films for all audiences. Wolf Children is just pure goodness and once again, Mamoru Hosoda gives us another winner with this honest moving film that will stay with you forever. It's a film that I'll happily revisit for a long time.