Hana was a student before she was a mother. She was bright and pretty, and her future held endless possibilities. Then she met a man, who turned out to be a wolf, and together they built a family.Hana loved her mate fiercely, but fate took him from her, leaving her alone with two unusual kids she didn’t know how to raise. Frightened of being discovered, Hana and her wolf children fled to the countryside to build a new life. Raising her little wild things was an adventure. It left Hana bruised, scratched, exhausted, and joyously overwhelmed as her pups grew stronger and wandered further every day. This is a mother’s journey. Teach your children to chase their dreams - and smile through the tears as they disappear into the world in search of who they will become. Hana wasn’t always a mother, but it was always what she was meant to be. - Back Cover of DVD
ReviewsPlease login to review this resource
Wolf Children: The Touching Story of an Usual Family
My name is Erica Holtgraver and I teach 10th Grade Chemistry and 11th grade AP Chemistry. I am participating in the NCTA Seminar this year because I want to find a way to teach a more globally minded Chemistry course. I studied abroad in Osaka, Japan in college and it changed my thinking. I would like to teach my students to consider a global perspective when making future life and scientific decisions.
I chose to watch Wolf Children because I had seen of this director’s other works and enjoyed them very much. Wolf Children is a bittersweet story of a very different family with a human mother who must raise her half-wolf shape shifting children. With my limited study of Japanese, I was able to understand most of the language in the film so I feel that some excerpts could useful in Japanese language classes, especially when discussing the difference in language styles used in families compared to acquaintances. Some excerpts could also be used in a study of Japanese folk-tales especially those focused on shape shifters and Okami (wolves).
Portions of this movie could be appropriate for all ages as we follow the wolf children through elementary school. However, I would recommend pre-screening since there is some relatively non-violent animal death depicted (as the children learn to hunt), and a romantic scene between the parents. As the children grow up, we follow their story through school and home life. The family is forced to move to the countryside to keep their secret. Their mother learns to grow their own food with help from neighbors in their rural community. There is a focus on the difficulty and struggle she goes through learning to parent these amazing children as she tries to teach them to control their shape-shifting powers.
I could see portions of this movie being used to compare school and home life in rural Japan and America, as well as views on parent responsibilities and roles. The animation is eye-catching and beautiful and the characters are well-developed. I was struck by how hard the family has to work to survive, and feel that it is a good example of the resilient attitude often stereotypically attributed to the Japanese. Many of the characters face the challenge of isolation, and one of the neighbors who initially is discourages the family opens up and gives them help and advice later on. This movie could be useful for student analyze and examine these themes cross-culturally. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese animation or folk tales.