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Experience the latest masterpiece from the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning director of Summer Wars.
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.
The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is a beautiful film that anybody with even the slightest interest in movies or animation owes it to themselves to watch... 10 Legendary. As close to perfect as a production can get. 10's are, to be frank, among the best and most influential films or shows ever made. --Japanator
Cemented the director's growing reputation as the preeminent director of theatrical animation in Japan today, the obvious spiritual heir to Hayao Miyazaki. --Otaku USA Magazine
There's no doubt that Hosoda will be a household name for any fan of similar creators namely Satoshi Kon, Shinichiro Watanabe, and Hayao Miyazaki... His bastions of storytelling are the truth of human emotion and the ever-prevalent necessity to unconditionally love family for what it is: forever part of who we are. --Amazing Stories Magazine
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A final note that I want to drive home. In a time when piracy is at an all time high, it has become extremely important to support official releases, especially in the American anime market, which in particular suffers from the perils of the information age. So please, don't just stream this online and not bother to support the company. This isn't to say don't watch it online at all, but if you do, and you enjoy it (and I don't see how you couldn't) please be sure to purchase the official release.
The mother, Hana, is a single mother who takes care of her two children, who have the ability to change into wolves. I won't talk about the specifics of what happened to her husband, but something obviously does, and it is explained in the film. She is incredibly kind, tolerant, and cares deeply for her children. Taking care of them on her own is difficult, especially when they start off in a new home on the countryside and she must make repairs to the decrepit home she purchased and later, learn to raise crops. But some of the times they share together are heartwarming, funny, and beautiful to see. The artwork for this film is simply staggering, and I look forward to more quality works like this from the director, Mamoru Hosuda.
About halfway through, the movie begins to deal more with the children, Ame and Yuki, and about how they are growing up and finding their own paths in life - something that Hana wanted to give them when she decided to move them out of the big city and to the countryside. All I will say is that the siblings' paths diverge; they both make different choices. One is not better than the other, and neither are bad choices.
In this half of the movie, you also start getting some feeling for what parents experience when their children grow up. I'm no parent, but I could feel it because I was right beside my mom when we watched the film - and she was crying. ***Minor SPOILER alert here, so skip to the next paragraph if you deem it necessary.*** Many parents raise their children with great love and care, but when it's finally time for them to "spread their wings and fly," it can be an emotional time. It's hard to let go sometimes, or rather, to accept the reality. I think parents fully understand that, but it's still hard. Hana has to deal with the same thing, and seemingly very early on to Western parents.
The ending is bittersweet, I'd say. It's happy, but sad at the same time. I guess it depends on how you look at it, and especially depends on what position you have in the family (father, mother, child, etc) - that is all I'm going to say.
All in all, it's a great family movie. I watched it twice with my mom already, once with just her, and then again with my dad and brother. Even if you aren't into anime or you have family members that aren't into anime, you can still pick up this film and enjoy it without any problems. I highly recommend it!
***Note: I've noticed these criticisms in some of the lower-rated reviews I've read for this film. I'm not here to argue or to say anyone is wrong, I would just like to give some insight to readers who may have concerns. What I'm talking about is what some have called "implied bestiality."
***SPOILER, READ ON ONLY IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE AFOREMENTIONED*** Shortly after the husband reveals his wolf side to Hana, they return home to consummate their love. They are both in a dark room with only their silhouettes showing, but the husband stays in his half-wolf form. He touches her cheek, asks her if she is afraid of him, and then they both lay down off-screen. That's the extent of the scene. For adults and young teens, it's clear that they're about to have sex - but personally, at least, I didn't see it as that. It was more about Hana's ultimate acceptance of her mate, and reassurance to the husband about the woman he loves. I don't think the scene was depicted as sexual. If you have concerns about this because of the "implied bestiality," however, I've already described the full scene. That's all there is, so you can make your judgment from there.
This is the story of a single mother raising two special needs children on her own, at first in a small apartment, and then out in the country in a run-down, fixer-upper home, when city life proves impossible. The special needs is that, when they get emotional, they transform into wolves, and act like puppies. It's very cute, but it is a burden and she handles it well. The problem is, one child wants to live as a human, and the other wants to live as a wolf. So their mother has to do right for each child's needs.
After seeing it several times in both Japanese, and later English (it's a new recording, it isn't dubbed over the Japanese audio), it's easy to say that it is the best animated film I've ever seen, and I have seen quite a few of them. But it is also one of the best films in any medium that I have seen. While I recommend it to everyone, the best way to watch it is with a mother, whether it's your mother, your sister, your wife, or another mother you know. It's hard to put into words, especially as a man, the gratitude we have for mothers, but to show them this film, and share with them this story, is to go a long way towards that. And while it isn't a tragedy — it's no Grave of the Fireflies by any means — you may want to have some tissues handy. When the credits hit, I could have used some. And definitely stay for the credits. Great song, great little recap of the film.
Side note: I actually do not own a Blu-ray player. I bought this for the DVD and for this to be my first Blu-ray when I finally get a Blu-ray player. Aside from the original Star Wars trilogy, I can't think of a better "first Blu-ray" to have.
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Arrived fast! In mint condition 😉 and got it super cheap on a lightning deal! Lol