New animated stop-motion hits Netflix


Lindsey Hardin, Editorial Team

The new highly anticipated Halloween movie, Wendell and Wild was just released on October 21 in cinemas and released on Netflix on October 28.

Wendell and Wild is a one-hour stop-motion animated horror comedy film that follows Kat Elliot as she tries to cope with life after the death of her parents when she meets two demons, Wendell and Wild. The demons strike a deal with her to bring her parents back from the dead if she agrees to summon them into the living world so they can create their dream amusement park.

What stands out most about this film is its animation. Wendell and Wild was directed by Henry Selick, who hasn’t directed a film since 2009’s Coraline. As a stop-motion film, Wendell and Wild was animated by taking a picture for each frame of the movie, moving the puppet-characters a little bit for every picture to create the illusion of movement. Wendell and Wild has been the first stop-motion Halloween movie in over five years, and the wait was well paid off with the beauty of this movie.

The cast of Wendell and Wild is stacked with great actors. Jordan Peele is both the voice of Wild and a co-writer and producer of the movie. Keegan-Micheal Key voices Wendell and Ving Rhames voices another demon, Buffalo Belzer, but the film also has relatively new actors voicing other main characters, like Lyric Ross and Tamara Smart voicing Kat and Siobhan respectively.

The lesson was perhaps the hardest-hitting aspect of the film. Throughout Wendell and Wild, Kat has a hard time coping with the death of her parents in addition to the downhill slope her life has taken since their passing. Her metaphorical demons keep her from making friends and living her life happily, however, she learns to both dismiss the guilt she doesn’t deserve to have and accept her demons for what they are.

One criticism of the film is its jumbled storyline. There are constant jumps in the film from plotpoint to plotpoint that make it difficult to follow at times. One moment, Kat is having an emotional moment and the next, the film has cut to the demons in the underworld building a model ferris wheel. While the overarching plot is wonderful and comes together cleanly in the end, the story-jumps make the first ten or so minutes confusing on a first watch.

Despite its shortcomings in the storyline, Wendell and Wild is an amazing film with an inspiring lesson, beautiful animation, and wonderful acting. It is 100% worth the watch and is certain to become a Halloween classic.