Studio Chizu with Madhouse Studio
Written & Directed by Mamoru Hosoda/Produced by Yuichiro Saito, Takuya Ito, & Takashi Watanabe/Screenplay by Satoko Okudera & Mamoru Hosoda/Music by Takagi Masakatsu
One day in college, Hana notices a scruffy young man sitting in her class, listening quietly without taking notes or even having a textbook. She follows him several times when she sees him around the school, and eventually they fall in love–only for her to discover that he is the last of a line of men who transform into wolves (but not in a creepy werewolf sort of way). If anything, Hana falls more deeply for this quiet, hardworking young man, and together they have two adorable children, Yuki and Ame, who share their father’s wolflike tendencies . . . including the ability to transform. When their father dies shortly after Ame is born, Hana is left to raise the two on her own–with no idea how, but with a heart to love them and a will to do what she can for their benefit.
Wolf Children is an absolutely beautiful, poignant movie about the struggles of being a single mom. I love that it shows the sorts of challenges that any single parent would face, yet brings in the issue of even letting her children decide whether to live as humans or as wolves. Which really illustrates something all parents face: letting their children decide who they are and what they want to do with their lives. In addition to being extremely touching and illuminating in those regards, this movie is also just a lovely story of family, romance, determination, and love. Very sweet. The characters are excellent. Oh, and the art . . . the flowers in the opening scene look nearly photographic, and the art throughout is simply gorgeous. All around, I would highly recommend Wolf Children, although I think it’s better for a slightly older audience both because of some of the visuals and for the intensity of emotion at some points.