'Wolf Children' - Movie Review

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who also did "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and "Summer Wars," both of which were goofy fun. This one has a pretty significant edge of melancholy to it that didn't really exist in his previous movies.

The story starts in voice-over, with the daughter explaining how her parents met. We see her mother at university, meeting a fairly solitary but likable guy ... who turns out to be part wolf. Although not, it's quickly explained, subject to the full moon or the slaughter of innocents. But about 20 minutes in, he's killed in an unexplained accident - she watches and is unable to stop them as his wolf-corpse is thrown in a trash compactor ... kind of heart-breaking. Leaving her with two children with very unusual needs. One of my favourite moments was when one of the kids was sick and she didn't know whether to take her to the children's hospital or the veterinarian.

The mother explains early on that she has learned to soldier through anything, and that's a good thing as she's constantly overwhelmed by the unknown while raising this pair. It's well done, definitely more mature than Hosoda's previous work, but also tiring and stressful just to watch. The animation is lovely.