Wendell and Wild Review – The Magic of Coming of Age

Are you a Tim Burton fan? Is Coraline one of your comfort movies?  If so, this is a movie for you.  This dark and eerie stop-motion by Henry Selick definitely gives off a Halloween-like vibe, combined with relatable characters and original art style. Wendel and Wild- a Netflix family movie for young and old that creates thought material and puts us in a gloomy fantasy world.

Wendell and Wild Review- The Magic of Coming of Age

This unobvious but comforting story is exactly what you need on a dark and rainy afternoon, accompanied with a big mug of a hot drink and some snacks. The magic of this kind of works is well presented here with a mix of intertwined emotions, in the perfect ratio to lead to an unexpected but cheering ending- which is what we all expect from a soothing, feel-good movie.

Wendell & Wild (2022), available on Netflix,  is another out of the ordinary story in a new, unfamiliar world, that will captivate your heart again and again every time you watch it. 

WENDELL & WILD | Official Trailer | Netflix

Story: Adventures In the Demon World

The movie takes us to the demon world, observing Wendell and Wild- two demons, in their boring everyday life working as hair planteaters on their father’s head. The brothers have a dream- they want to follow their father’s path and build their own dream amusement park in the afterlife, but better. This creates a surprising image of life after death, and we are instantly captivated in the charm of the hopeless demons.

Simultaneously we meet Kat- an orphan girl who blames herself for the death of her parents. Kat is a new student in a catholic school where she becomes a Hell- Maiden. The incident makes Wendell and Wild, who have seen her in their hallucinations, decide to go on a journey and escape hell secretly. The demons make every possible mistake, hoping to achieve their goal and build their dream park. The series of event lead us through all kinds of emotions, finishing with a surprising but comforting ending.

The fascinating thing about this movie is that it open for interpretation. Many points of view can be taken into account. It is definitely a fresh, new experience for audience in every age.
It is not an obvious movie, and it is an excellent way to spark a conversation.

A fresh look on life after death.

A fresh look on life after death.

Characters & Performance: We Are All Represented- The Relatable Characters

In Wendell & Wild we are once again encountered with incredible characters, not only in their memorable looks and features, but also in their relatable personalities. Henry Selick skillfully builds a set of characters with dreams, desires, and background stories that can get into the heart of every kind of audience.

Unlike many animated movies, these heroes’ personal stories aren’t cheesy. It is only natural that we relate so easily to personalities and stories that feel like home to us. We can understand their motives and behaviors, and place ourselves in their shoes, without making it overwhelmingly educational. This creates a wonderful chance to reflect on our own lives and maybe find an answer to some of our everyday problems. After all, a big part of our life is based on the movies we grew up on.

This movie also provides a representation of different races, sexualities and aesthetics, which isn’t obvious in animated movies. Not only it targets a diverse audience, but also makes the characters even more relatable. We see a realistic world, but with a fantastic twist and loveable personalities. 

Loveable demons in a dark and gloomy world created by Henry Selick.

Loveable demons in a dark and gloomy world created by Henry Selick.

Editing & Pacing: Henry Selick’s Touch – The Similarity to Tim Burton’s Movies

It is quite obvious what kind of audience Henry Selick creates for. Working side by side with Tim Burton on the set of The Nightmare Before Christmas visibly shaped Selick’s style of art. The similarities between his works are noticeable- dark and spooky, expressed with his unusual art style and atypical characters. With that, each and every of the unconventional plots is appalling with its creativity.

We get just the right amount of each character. Scenes are skillfully cut at the right place. There is no feeling of monotony, as we jump from the living to the demon world, letting us enjoy the fantasy and unpredictability. I do wish, however, to see more of the afterlife park. It is a creative idea that, to my knowing, is not represented anywhere, and it has great potential.

Still, it is the kind of movies that you can watch hundreds of times, and still find another detail that you overlooked the last time. This movie is unpredictable. Same as in Tim Burton’s movies, and , of course, Caroline – another movie from under the spell making hands of Henry Selick, the enchantment is unforgettable, and it is what makes this movie special.

Cinematography & Sound: Our Dark Aesthetic – The Magic of Spook

It is impossible to pass on the visual aspect of this movie. Henry Selick has a history of beautifully unordinary stop motion movies. each of Selick’s movies is a fresh take on family entertainment. The creepy ambience is maintained, perfectly swallowing the weird, misunderstood teens and young adults.

Having said that, true fans of this kind of movies will see the differences. Each of Selick’s worlds is a magical universe of itself. All the pieces come together and we are swallowed into an unfamiliar story, that still somehow feels like home.

Selick plays with colors and shapes, creating psychological understanding of the feelings of the characters.
It is a must see for fans of offbeat movies, and will surely captivate younger and older audience. It is also a wonderful alternative for horror movie lovers who would like to try something a little fresher.

Wendell and Wild is another remarkable work of art. It is sure to pull you away from our ordinary world and open a magical portal for you. It is a true adventure for all types of viewers, especially for us dark and spooky genre lovers. With characters you are sure to fall for and a fascinating, fresh story accompanied with flawless work of stop-motion. It is another true masterpiece created by Henry Selick- the man associated with animation that sweeps us all off of our feet.  
  • Aesthetic
  • Relatable characters
  • Creative plot
  • No use of the afterlife dream park potential

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