From director Mamoru Hosoda (THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME and SUMMER WARS) comes his latest masterpiece. Hana, a nineteen-year-old college student, falls in love with a man only for him to reveal his secret; he is a direct descendent of the Japanese wolf. Still, they are in love, build a life together, and bear two children; a son and daughter named Ame (Rain) and Yuki (Snow). Both children inherit lycan powers from their father and are able to vacillate between wolf and human forms.
One night, the wolf father dies in an accident. Without their father to teach them the ways to control their wolf powers, Hana makes a life-changing decision to take her children and live in isolation, moving into a rural town to raise her children in hiding. But with Hana’s work on an old dilapidated house, she makes waves in the small community and soon becomes an integral part of it. As for her children, Ame and Yuki suffer through growing pains in their new environs, but also must make a life choice to either lead a human or wolf life.
Hosoda continues his streak of humanistic stories with fantastical elements. With THE WOLF CHILDREN, the universal themes of family, coming-of-age, adolescence and bereavement are explored in a realistic and touching way. The notions of nature versus nurture, especially when it comes to the wolf children themselves – Ame, the son, leaning towards his wolf heritage with the forest surrounding him as a perfect home, and Yuki, the daughter, who soon makes friends in school and desires a “normal” life – run parallel to their mother’s story, as she continues the family legacy and the memory of her late husband. THE WOLF CHILDREN is a smart film for the whole family, with a strong ecological message.
Synopsis written by: Anderson Le