Length: 117 minutes
"Hana was a student before she was a mother. She was bright and pretty, and her future held endless possibilities. Then she met a man, who turned out to be a wolf, and together they built a family. Hana loved her mate fiercely, but fate took him from her, leaving her alone with two unusual kids she didn't know how to raise. Frightened of being discovered, Hana and her wolf children fled to the countryside to build a new life. Raising her little wild things was an adventure. It left Hana bruised, scratched, exhausted, and joyously overwhelmed as her pups grew stronger and wandered further every day. This is a mother's journey. Teach your children to chase their dreams - and smile through the tears as they disappear into the world in search of who they will become. Hana wasn't always a mother, but it was always what she was meant to be."
Wolf Children is the latest work of director Mamoru Hosoda who also directed the amazing Summer Wars as well as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time which I haven't seen yet #want to get the blu-ray of it, but it's discontinued and goes for $100+ -_-#. This continues Hosoda's list of fantastic movie titles that he's directed. Wolf Children puts a heavy emphasis on the importance of family.
The movie does a very good job of keeping things moving along at a very brisk pace that never leaves you tired or bored. The first quarter of the movie focuses on the love between Hana and her wolf man, the birth of their children, his death, and then her leaving Tokyo. Sadly, because of how quickly the beginning moves on, the father's death isn't that impactful, emotionally. However, I think they got it just right unless their emotional gauge is off. There are several scenes in the movie that start to pull at the heart strings but let go of them just in time to keep things from getting too sad. Extremely well done.
The storyline for Wolf Children is masterfully done, and so are the music and artwork. The very first scene is a strikingly realistic picture of a white flower #don't know which type# that then opens up to a giant field of flowers that Hana is lying in. The music is never riveting, but the orchestral presence really carries every scene over to the next and definitely helps set the tone. Add on the beautiful cinematics and it's an excellent masterpiece to watch and listen to.
I'd been waiting on this movie to come out for months and it definitely didn't let me down. I'm typically a guy that loves shows with mechs, action, violence, and fanservice, but this is one of those movies that virtually anyone can love. Everyone should pick it up and watch it a few times!