Well it is about time that I posted another movie review here and today’s is Wolf Children (Okami kodomo no ame to yuki) directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
Mamoru has been said to be the next Hayao Miyazaki and if this is any example of his current work I would whole heartedly agree with that. The look and feel of the story reminds me of Miyazaki but this isn’t a copy of Miyazaki, Mamoru is his own man and his direction is subtle and bittersweet.
The plot is as follows Hana a young woman who falls in love with a man in college. He reveals that he is in fact a Wolf-Man (wolves have been extinct since 1905 in Japan), Hana still loves him and they move in together. In winter their first child is born they name her Yuki (snow) and then Yuki’s brother Ame (rain) is born . Yuki and Ame’s father is killed and Hana is left to raise the children by herself. There are poignant scenes in this movie where Hana can’t decided when Yuki get sick (and changes into a wolf cub) whether to take her child to a veterinarian or to a pediatrician. Not only that but Hana must hide the children from the rest of society because she fears what will happen to them if they are found out. To keep them safe Hana moves them to a rural town and learns to farm and tries to raise the children as both a wolf and as human.
This is really a beautiful film there is a real love for nature that is expressed in how it is portrayed and the story is bitter sweet in it’s tone. You really feel for Hana as she tries to do her best for her children. And how Yuki and Ame grow and change is portrayed perfectly.
This is a family film there is elements of death you may have to explain to younger children and loss as well. But over all this is a great film four stars out of five.