Wolf Children

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wolf Children
The poster shows a young woman in white holding two children, both with tails and wolf ears standing in a grassy field on a cloudy day with the sun coming out as they all regard something in the distance. At the top is the film's title, written in Japanese white letters and the tagline, "love wildly," written in blue letters. At the poster's bottom is the film's release date and production credits.
Theatrical release poster
Japanese name
Revised HepburnŌkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki
Directed byMamoru Hosoda
Screenplay by
Story byMamoru Hosoda
Produced by
Edited byShigeru Nishiyama
Music byMasakatsu Takagi
Distributed byToho
Release dates
  • June 25, 2012 (2012-06-25) (France)
  • July 21, 2012 (2012-07-21) (Japan)
Running time
117 minutes
Box office$55 million[1]

Wolf Children (Japanese: おおかみこどもの雨と雪, Hepburn: Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, lit. "Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki") is a 2012 Japanese anime drama film directed and co-written by Mamoru Hosoda.[2][3] The second original feature film directed by Hosoda and the first work written by him, the film stars the voices of Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa and Haru Kuroki. The story's central theme is "parent and child",[4] depicting 13 years in the life of a young woman, Hana, who falls in love with a werewolf while in college, and following his death must raise the resulting half-wolf half-human siblings, Ame and Yuki, who grow and find their own paths in life.

Hosoda established Studio Chizu for production. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990) and Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), designed the characters. Wolf Children had its world premiere in Paris on June 25, 2012, and was released theatrically on July 21, 2012, in Japan.[5] Funimation licenses the film for North America[6] and Manga Entertainment handles UK rights.


In Tokyo, college student Hana falls in love with an enigmatic man, who eventually reveals himself to be a werewolf. They later have two children, a daughter named Yuki and a son named Ame. Soon after Ame is born, their father is killed in an accident while hunting for food.

Hana's life as a single mother is difficult; she has to hide the children as they constantly switch between their human and wolf forms, and they often get into fights. After she receives noise complaints and a visit from social workers concerned that the children have not had vaccinations, Hana moves the family to the countryside away from prying neighbors. She works hard to repair a dilapidated house, but struggles to sustain the family on their own crops. With help from a strict old man named Nirasaki, she learns to farm sufficiently and befriends some of the locals.

One day, Ame almost drowns in a river while trying to hunt a kingfisher. Yuki rescues him, and Ame becomes more confident in his wolf abilities. Yuki begs her mother to enroll her in a public school, and Hana accepts on the condition that Yuki keeps her wolf nature secret. Yuki soon makes friends at school while Ame is bullied by his school peers. Meanwhile, Ame often skips school and becomes more interested in the forest and takes lessons from an elderly fox about survival in the wild.

In fourth grade, Yuki's class receives a new transfer student, Sōhei, who realizes something is unusual about her. When he pursues the matter by cornering her, Yuki gets increasingly angry, leading her to transform into a wolf and inadvertently injuring his ear. At the meeting with their parents and teachers, Sōhei claims a wolf attacked him, absolving Yuki of the blame, and the two become friends.

Yuki tries to encourage Ame to begin attending school, which he refuses. They argue over whether they should attempt to adapt to human society or embrace their nature as wolves. Two years later, Yuki's school is let out early due to treacherous weather. As Hana is about to leave to retrieve her, Ame disappears into the forest to help his dying fox teacher, and Hana follows him. Yuki and Sōhei are left alone at school. Yuki reveals her ability to Sōhei and confesses that it was really her who attacked him. He tells her he already knew, and promises to keep her secret.

While searching for Ame, Hana slips and falls off a cliff. She sees a vision of the children's father telling her that Yuki and Ame will find their own paths in life, and that she raised them well. Ame finds Hana and carries her to safety. She awakens to see him fully transform into an adult wolf and run off into the mountains. Realizing he has found his own path, she happily but tearfully accepts his goodbye.

One year later, Yuki leaves home to move into a middle school dormitory. Ame's wolf howls are heard far and wide in the forest. Hana, now living alone, reflects that raising her wolf children was like a fairy tale, and feels proud of the way she raised them.

Voice cast[edit]

Character Cast
Japanese English
Hana () Aoi Miyazaki Colleen Clinkenbeard
The Wolfman (, Ookami) Takao Osawa David Matranga
Yuki () Haru Kuroki
Momoka Ono (child)
Jad Saxton
Lara Woodhull (child)
Ame () Yukito Nishii
Amon Kabe (child)
Micah Solusod
Alison Viktorin (child)
Sōhei Fujii (藤井 草平, Fujii Sōhei) Takuma Hiraoka Jason Liebrecht
Sōhei's mother (草平の母, Sōhei no haha) Megumi Hayashibara Lydia Mackay
Grandpa Nirasaki (韮崎のおじいちゃん, Nirasaki no ojii-chan) Bunta Sugawara Jerry Russell
Mr. Nirasaki (韮崎の旦那さん, Nirasaki no danna-san) Takashi Kobayashi Kenny Green
Mrs. Nirasaki (韮崎のおばさん, Nirasaki no oba-san) Tomie Kataoka Wendy Powell
Tanabe (田辺) Shota Sometani Sonny Strait
Hosokawa (細川) Tadashi Nakamura R. Bruce Elliott
Yamaoka (山岡) Tamio Ōki Bill Flynn
Tendō (天童) Hajime Inoue Kent Williams
Kuroda (黒田) Mike McFarland
Horita (堀田) Kumiko Asō Jamie Marchi
Uncle Horita Mark Stoddard
Aunt Horita Melinda Wood Allen
Doi (土肥) Mitsuki Tanimura Kate Oxley
Uncle Doi Bob Magruder
Aunt Doi Linda Leonard
Shino (信乃) Rino Kobayashi Leah Clark
Bunko (文子) Chika Arakawa Felecia Angelle
Sōko (荘子) Fūka Haruna Alexis Tipton
Keno (毛野) Mone Kamishiraishi Kristi Kang
Masashi () Shunya Kaneko
Masanori (礼儀) Ruiki Satō
Tadatomo (忠与) Tensei Matsuoka Eric Vale
Radio Announcer (ラジオ・アナウンサー, Rajio anaunsā) Taichi Masu
(Nippon TV announcer)
Jason C. Miller


One of Hosoda's motivations for working on this film was that people around him had started raising children, and he "saw them shining as they became parents." In an interview with Anime! Anime! in February 2013, Hosoda explained why he chose the setting of Wolf Children despite the fact that it is a story about raising a child: "It is generally taken for granted that children are raised and then grow up. But for the actual people involved, it is not natural at all. In order for the audience to share this feeling, I thought it would be good if we all shared an experience that no one else had (raising a werewolf child)."[7]

In an interview with Famitsu, Hosoda said, "I used to take it for granted that people would have children. However, after getting married, I began to realize that raising children in the city is a hardship in terms of the environment, such as public support, and that living in the countryside is not necessarily easy, and that there is a hardship of not having anyone of the same age. I wanted to make a film about such endurance." Human parenting cannot be done in complete isolation, and the reason for choosing wolves as the material for the project was that "wolves are very family-oriented, and they are disciplined animals that have a leader who leads the pack and lives with the whole group in mind."[8]

The setting of the early part of the story, "a national university on the outskirts of Tokyo," is modeled after Hitotsubashi University in Kunitachi, Tokyo.[9][10] In addition, the countryside where Hana moves to is modeled after the undeveloped woodland in Toyama Prefecture. The backdrop of the film depicts the landscape of Nakaniikawa District's Kamiichi, Hosoda's hometown, and the neighboring town of Tateyama, and it was divulged that the former mayor of Kamiichi, Naoshi Itō, approached Hosoda to "make a film based on the town." The old house that served as the model for Hana's house was a private home owned by Masao Yamazaki, who lived in Kamiichi. In 2007, five years before the movie was released, Yamazaki passed away, and the house was considered for demolition, but it was chosen as the model for Hana's house, and after the movie became a big hit, it was opened to the public by the owners (relatives of Yamazaki) and volunteers (as of 2015).[11] The elementary school that Ame and Yuki attended was modeled after Tanaka Elementary School (only the gymnasium is still in existence). The yakitori with sauce that appears in the film is oidare yakitori, a local dish from Ueda, Nagano, where Hosoda's wife's parents live.


At a press conference held on June 18, 2012, the director Mamoru Hosoda announced that Wolf Children would be released in 34 countries and territories.[12] This film's premiere was in France on June 25, 2012, marking its international debut.[13]

It was subsequently released in Japan on July 21, 2012.[13] The film's Blu-ray and DVD release date for Japan was February 20, 2013. The film had a limited release in the United States on September 27, 2013.[14]

Wolf Children was screened at Animefest 2013 in May in the Czech Republic[15] and at Animafest Zagreb 2013 in June in Croatia.[16]

Other media[edit]

In addition to the film, two novelizations and a manga written by Hosoda (with art by Yū ()) were released by Kadokawa Shoten.[17] The manga was translated into English by Yen Press and was nominated for the "Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia" category at the 2015 Eisner Awards.[18] As tie-ins to the film, a film picture book, an art book, and a storyboard book were released from Kadokawa, Media Pal, and Pia.

  • Mamoru Hosoda Pia, Pia, July 10, 2012, ISBN 9784835621203
  • Wolf Children Ame and Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, Kadokawa Tsubasa Bunko, July 15, 2012, ISBN 9784046312488
  • Kadokawa Picture Book Wolf Children Ame and Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, Kadokawa Shoten, July 15, 2012, ISBN 9784041102473
  • Wolf Children Ame and Yuki Storyboards Animestyle Archive by Mamoru Hosoda, Media Pal, July 21, 2012, ISBN 9784896102468
  • Wolf Children Ame and Yuki Official Book: Hana no Yō ni edited by the Wolf Children Ame and Yuki Production Committee, Kadokawa Shoten, July 23, 2012, ISBN 9784041102480
  • Wolf Children Ame and Yuki Artbook edited by the Wolf Children Ame and Yuki Production Committee, Kadokawa Shoten, August 25, 2012, ISBN 9784041102862
No. Title Original release date English release date
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki (light novel) by Mamoru HosodaJune 22, 2012[19]
May 21, 2019[20]
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki (manga) by Yū (illustrations) and Mamoru HosodaJuly 14, 2012[21]
March 25, 2014[22]


Box office[edit]

Wolf Children was the second-highest-grossing film in Japan on its debut weekend of July 21–22, 2012, beating Pixar's animation Brave, which debuted in Japan on the same weekend.[23] It attracted an audience of 276,326 throughout the weekend, grossing 365.14 million yen.[23] The film subsequently surpassed Hosoda's previous work Summer Wars' gross of around 1.6 billion yen during the weekend of August 12–13, 2012.[24] In total, Wolf Children grossed 4.2 billion yen, making it the fifth-highest-grossing movie in Japan in 2012.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 95% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 8.5/10.[26] On Metacritic, the film has an weighted average score of 76 out of 100 based on 8 critics, signifying "generally favorable reviews."[27]

Mark Schilling of The Japan Times gave the film three out of five stars and wrote that "The Miyazaki influence on Hosoda's own work seems obvious, from his cute-but-realistic style to his concern with pressing social issues and the messy emotions of actual human beings". He felt the film was "on the conventional and predictable side ... appealing to Jane Eyre fans in one scene, Call of the Wild fans in the next" and criticized its "well-worn, stereotypical rails".[28]

Thomas Sotinel of Le Monde gave the film five out of five stars.[29] Dave Chua of Mypaper also praised the film's "magnificent understated eye for detail, from the grain of wood on doors to the lovingly captured forest scenes, that help lift the movie above regular animation fare."[30] Chris Michael of The Guardian gave the film four out of five, writing that "telling the story through the eyes of the harried, bereaved but indomitable mother gives this calm, funny, only occasionally schmaltzy family film a maturity Twilight never reached."[31] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times described it as "an odd story, told in a one-of-a-kind style that feels equal parts sentimental, somber and strange," and felt the English language performances were inappropriately sweet and simplistic.[32] Steven D. Greydanus, writing in the National Catholic Register, named the film a runner-up in its list of the best films of 2013, writing: "Despite brief early problematic content and an ambiguous climactic letdown, the main story is magic."[33]


Wolf Children won the 2013 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year,[34] the 2012 Mainichi Film Award for Best Animation Film,[35] and the 2013 Animation of the Year award at TAF.[36] It won two awards at the Oslo Films from the South festival in Norway: the main award, the Silver Mirror, and the audience award.[37] It won an Audience Award at 2013 New York International Children's Film Festival[38] and the 2014 Best Anime Disc award from Home Media Magazine.[39]


  1. ^ "Okami kodomo no ame to yuki (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "Summer Wars' Mamoru Hosoda Creates Anime Film for July". Anime News Network. December 13, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ame & Yuki Film by Summer Wars' Hosoda Slated for July 21". Anime News Network. January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "ジブリの好敵手になるか? 細田守監督最新作『おおかみこどもの雨と雪』2012年7月公開決定". ORICON STYLE. December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "Paris to Host World Premiere of Mamoru Hosoda's Ame & Yuki Film". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "Funimation to Release Wolf Children, Toriko on Home Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  7. ^ 映画『おおかみこどもの雨と雪』細田守(監督・脚本・原作)インタビュー 前編(アニメ!アニメ!)
  8. ^ 細田守監督最新作『おおかみこどもの雨と雪』監督直撃インタビュー(ファミ通.com)
  9. ^ "【公開中!】映画「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」【国立も舞台のモデルに】". ビジテ!国立―国立市の地域プロモーションサイト. Archived from the original on August 24, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  10. ^ "映画「おおかみこどもの雨と雪」 一橋大学編". 国立ハッピースポット. July 22, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ookami kodomo no Hana no ie". Archived from the original on February 12, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  12. ^ 宮崎あおい : 夫役・大沢たかおと相合い傘で登場 「大きな優しさに支えられた」. Mainichi Shimbun Digital Co.Ltd (in Japanese). June 18, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Paris to Host World Premiere of Mamoru Hosoda's Ame & Yuki Film". Anime News Network. May 30, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  14. ^ Wolf Children (2012) - IMDb, retrieved August 10, 2019
  15. ^ "Vlčí děti" [Wolf Children] (in Czech). Animefest. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  16. ^ "Okamikodomo no Ame to Yuki / Wolf Children". Animafest Zagreb. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  17. ^ "hyaloplasm" (in Japanese). Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "All You Need Is Kill, In Clothes Called Fat, Master Keaton, One-Punch Man, Mizuki's Showa, Wolf Children Nominated for Eisner Awards". Anime News Network. April 22, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  19. ^ "おおかみこどもの雨と雪" (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki (light novel)". Yen Press. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  21. ^ "おおかみこどもの雨と雪 (1)". Kadokawa Comic Ace (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki". Yen Press. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "『海猿』V2で早くも動員200万人突破!『おおかみこども』ピクサー新作超えて2位初登場!【映画週末興行成績】". Cinema Today (in Japanese). July 24, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  24. ^ "『海猿』が『仮面ライダー』から首位奪還!本年度No.1『テルマエ・ロマエ』超えまでわずか!【映画週末興行成績】". Cinema Today (in Japanese). August 14, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  25. ^ 2012年度(平成24年)興収10億円以上番組 (平成25年1月発表). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. (in Japanese). March 30, 2013. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  26. ^ "Okami kodomo no ame to yuki (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki) (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  27. ^ "Wolf Children Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  28. ^ Schilling, Mark (July 20, 2012). "Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (Wolf Children)". The Japan Times. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  29. ^ Sotinel, Par Thomas (August 28, 2012). ""Les Enfants-Loups, Ame et Yuki" : une épopée intime dans un Japon oublié". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  30. ^ Chua, Dave (September 6, 2012). "Movie Review: Wolf Children". Mypaper. AsiaOne. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  31. ^ Michael, Chris (October 24, 2013). "Wolf Children – review". The Guardian. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  32. ^ Turan, Kenneth (September 26, 2013). "Review: Mamoru Hosoda's 'Wolf Children' anime is wild". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  33. ^ Greydanus, Steven D. (January 17, 2014). "SDG's Top Films of 2013". National Catholic Register. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  34. ^ "Japan Academy Prize (2013)" (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  35. ^ "Wolf Children, 'Combustible' Win at 67th Mainichi Film Awards". Anime News Network. February 7, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  36. ^ "Wolf Children, SAO, Kuroko's Basketball Win Tokyo Anime Awards". Anime News Network. March 24, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  37. ^ Prize winners - Films from the South 2012 Archived March 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Films from the South.
  38. ^ Groves, Sara (March 19, 2013). "NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2013 AWARD WINNERS" (PDF). New York International Children's Film Festival. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 13, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  39. ^ "Wolf Children Wins 'Best Anime Disc' Award from Magazine". Anime News Network. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.

External links[edit]