Before I begin if you have not yet seen this movie you can possibly watch it here: animehaven.org/dubbed/wolf-children
This review will contain spoilers. Not everything will be in perfect order.
This movie is not only a visual masterpiece put together by Mamoru Hosoda but it's also a movie that puts a twist on motherhood. The woman's name is Hana and she meets a mysterious man who turns out to be a werewolf. He reveals himself but she seems to look past that. Together they bring two kids who inherit the ability to turn into wolves. After some time the father goes out to hunt for them is a mysterious killed. It's only up to Hana to raise this wolf children.
The young girl's name is Yuki and the Boy It Ame.
Hana figures the only solution to her problem is to move away from the city so that the kids may decide to ether by more human or wolf. As kids Yuki seems more eager to hunt while Ame is nearly terrified of each new experience. To see the mother staying up late nights and working the fields really shows her dedication to providing the best possible experience. One day Yuki learns about school and she wants to go. Maybe it's a bit out of just wanting to see something new. Hana eventually allows Yuki to go. Hana brings Ame into a shelter for injured animals.
Yuki's transformation is surrounded in the fact that she wants to be like her friends. With each year she reaches closer to that goal. A new student is named Sohei. He quickly attempts to befriend her and at first she doesn't want to be near him. After some time she allows to him to at least know a few things without revealing shes a wolf. Ame transformation happens while the two of them are running and he stops to see a goose. He attempts to grab it and fails. He nearly drowns and upon being rescued by his sister. He too joins school being one year behind his sister. But he finds himself just looking out the window. Eventually he stops and hangs out more at the shelter then at school.
This movie takes us through a good number of years and we get to see the joyousness of the kids seeing winter for the first time. Visually it's just one of the more spectacular moments. The music throughout the movie just pulls you right into the moment. In this case it's like you want to be in the snow just running and having fun.
Sohei's prosecute of Yuki leaves her running. After he keeps asking her what's wrong she quickly changes and slaps him down with her claws. Hana is called in and Sohei tells everyone it was a wolf that did it. Hana's concern in this moment and several moments just increases a heart race. You can feel the potential trouble of each problem that arises. When Yuki and Ame are both older they both sit and Yuki wants him to return to school. He tells her that their both wolves and should live in the wild. This is the last point and both transitions for both of them are complete. Yuki is determined to remain in shcool and Ame is bound to the forest. This causes them to argue and get into a fight.
What follows is that one day Yuki is getting ready for school. Ame warns her not to go. While in the forest he had found an elder wolf that taught him what he needed to know. Yuki ignores the advice and goes anyway. A really bad storm starts. Ame apologizes sort of to himself and leaves his mother to go to the rule the forest after discovering the elder wolf was gone. The mother wakes up after being tired out and sees that Ame is gone. She goes out into the storm once again with that concern and determination and heads into the woods. Yuki stays in the school with Sohei as they get left behind. With everyone gone Yuki finally reveals she is a wolf. Sohei explains that he knew that and will keep her secret. Meanwhile Hana continues to push her limits on a high cliff. She stumbles and falls unconscious. In her dream she sees the wolf she fell in love with. She's happy but suddenly remembers she wanted to find Ame. He tells her that he's an adult now and has made his choice and that he will be fine. Ame finds her and returns her to the streets. She wakes up shortly after seeing him flee back into the forest. This goodbye doesn't need to be expressed with words you can feel it from the mothers change of expression.
In the end Yuki continues school and we see the Hana sitting alone in her large cabin house. And what were left with is a final howl from Ame perhaps resembling a true final farewell and we see Hana just smiling feeling like she did a good job.
This movie has other fun little moments. If this movie were longer I feel like I'd be up for watching it. It's just so powerful and yet there's a simplicity too it as well. How the characters changed was simply compelling and it's something I feel like we don't get to see much of. Watching the challenges warms my heart and this movie will surely do the same for other viewers. I highly recommend it to anyone. And now my video review: