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Wendell & Wild review – stunning animation doesn’t save history

October 27, 2022

The review post Wendell & Wild – Stunning Animation Doesn’t Save History appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.

Directed by Henry Selick and co-written by Jordan Peele, Netflix brings the animated movie Wendell & Wild – this is our official spoiler-free review.

Watching someone you love die is always difficult, and when you’re able to fully process the grief, you notice the little things. Moments like this find a way to surprise you when you least expect it. It’s as if your mind is registering these images without you realizing it. The themes in Wendell and savage explore a young girl’s friend after losing her parents at a young age. We see the young woman she has become because of her past trauma.

Kat (Lyric Ross) still struggles to move on because her past haunts her. In this movie, two sneaky demon brothers Wendell (Key Keegan-Michael) and wild (Jordan Pele), must face their sworn enemy. Sister Helley (Angela Bassette) is known to cast out demons and she ends up helping them. However, the brothers are not only tormented by her, but also by her altar boys.

The film is directed by Henry Selick and co-written by Jordan Peele. The theme of grief carries this emotional weight and is powerfully explored through stop-motion animation. However, the direction of the story is a bit messy. The film’s pacing felt rushed because the character introductions were cut short and unexplained. At times, the story with Kat is put on the back burner due to the other storylines being explored.

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There is a connection with the underworld for Wendell and savage it is also a weak link in Kat as they use it to lead them back to the Land of the Living. Everything is possible through animation, so her theoretical demons manifest into physical beings she can see. Unfortunately, Kat blames herself for her parents’ death and carries it with her. She goes to a new boarding school and discovers that she has different powers that bind her to the underworld.

Three different stories are told, and it could have worked if they had been layered differently. Each new piece of information is added to the mix to have a more personal connection with Kat. There are monsters we carry, monsters we don’t believe in, and monsters that show up in other people. Selick and Peele also try to address the big corporate freaks who don’t care about the little people, who get completely lost in this story.

Kat is a different character, because her punk-rock looks and detached attitude kind of carry this film. Not only is she a young teenager looking to find herself, but she’s also a “Hellmaiden” with a direct connection to the underworld. It is also a parallel with her ability to search deep within herself to expel darkness from her mind in order to live free from her past.

Wendell and savage has strong themes of grief and guilt that come through in the stunning animation. Kat’s feelings show in Wendell and savage, but they are never fully explored. It’s almost as if his storyline was cut short due to situations at school, in the underworld, and in corporate affairs. We only know the character through her trauma and not as a young girl trying to process it fully.

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There could have been strong emotional moments for her, but the weight of her grief is thrown off by her anger. She cares but it’s poorly executed throughout the movie. It’s as if the story wasn’t there to serve the main character and his monsters. They wanted to show how monsters manifest in other ways through his grief, and that’s why it didn’t pan out the way it should have.

What did you think of the Netflix movie Wendell & Wild? Comments below.

More Wendell & Wild stories

  • Explanation of the Wendell & Wild ending

The review post Wendell & Wild – Stunning Animation Doesn’t Save History appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.