Wendell & Wild

#Review: Wendell & Wild

Reader Rating0 Votes

Coming out this Friday just in time for the spooktacular climax of the Halloween season is Wendell & Wild. This gorgeous stop-motion animation is the latest work from celebrated director Henry Selick. If you know that name then you’ve watched some great films in the past.

Starring Lyric Ross, Angela Bassett as well as Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele Wendell & Wild follows Lyric Ross’ character Kat Elliott as she returns home after years away. The reason is a tragic one involving her family’s death during an accident. She still blames herself and her return to her old home which is a husk of its former self doesn’t help.

As she tries to reacclimate to her new school with her new schoolmates she discovers that she is a hell maiden and with this mantle comes a lot of bizarre powers. One of these powers is that she can summon demons. Two such demons known as Wendell (Kegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Jordan Peele) hope to utilise her newfound powers so that they can come to Earth and open up their own amusement park. From there macabre mischief ensues.

My demons, my problems

Wendell & Wild is a brilliant film. The animation is absolutely fantastic. Once again Selick and his team knock it out of the park. The town of Rust Bank though rundown is still brimming with eerie life. The characters are so stylistic and well-designed. From Kat’s eccentric style to the bizarre Trump-like figure that David Harewood plays there is not one boring-looking character. A particular highlight is Buffalo Belzer, a large demon from hell. Ving Rhame brings his usual charm to the character and that presence comes through with the larger-than-life design of his character.

On the topic of demons, the titular characters Wendell and Wild are a lot of fun. Though they are the titular characters, much like Beetlejuice Wendell and Wild are supporting characters that come into the film to add their own signature chaos. Michael-Key and Peele are brilliant in the roles and it’s great to see them back together.

The story is one about family and how far we’ll go for them and Kat is a brilliant heroine in that respect. She also has a fun sidekick in the shape of Raul played by Sam Zelaya. Zelaya’s character is going through a journey of their own in the film and it is treated with a lot of genuine respect.

One of the more interesting elements that I appreciated about Wendell & Wild is how exposition is delivered. The film doesn’t stop to supply you with an information dump. Instead, it waits for the right moments to drip-feed lore and if that means we don’t know everything that’s okay. It allows the world to feel more lived in as well as have an air of mystique.

This Halloween audiences are spoiled for choice and with Wendell & Wild, there is another addition to that must-watch list. It’s bonkers, bold and brilliant an eccentric heart at its centre. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.