Wendell and Wild Review
Three different stories are being told; it could have worked if they had been layered differently. Each new piece of information is being thrown into the mix for it to hold more of a personal tie to Kat. There are monsters that we carry, monsters that we don’t believe in, and monsters that manifest themselves in other people. Selick and Peele also try to address big corporate monsters who do not care about the little people which completely gets lost in this story. Kat is a different character, as her punk-rock look and detached demeanour somehow carry this movie. Not only is she a young teenager looking to find herself, but she is also a “Hellmaiden” with a direct link to the underworld. It is also a parallel to her being able to search deep within herself to expel the darkness from her mind to live free of her past.
Wendell and Wild has strong themes of grief and guilt that come through in the stunning animation. Kat’s feelings are manifested in Wendell and Wild, but they’re never fully explored. It’s almost as if her storyline is cut short because of situations at the school, in the underworld, and in the corporate business. We only get to know the character through her trauma and not as a young girl trying to process it fully. There could have been strong emotional moments for her, but the weight of her grief is tossed away through her anger. She does care but it’s executed poorly throughout the film. It’s as if the story wasn’t there to service the lead character and her monsters. They wanted to show how monsters manifest in other ways through her grief, and that’s why this didn’t come together as it should have.
Review by: Amanda Guarragi
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