‘Wendell and Wild’ is a claymation film created from the minds of Henry Selick and Jordan Peele. Selick is responsible for directing films such as ‘Coraline’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.' With Peele building a psychological thriller filmography with films like ‘Nope’, ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’, I could not help but countdown the days until Wendell and Wild’s release.
From start to finish, the film is captivating, paying odes to identity expression, punk rock and diversity. The claymation captures the grim nature of the plot while maintaining a fantasy and aesthetically pleasing scenery. There were instances while I watched the film where I was so captivated by the claymation and stylistic design choices of each character. The design of each character brought their personalities to life. Each character is written with their own quirks, which is what makes the movie so enjoyable to watch.
The biggest critique constantly discussed amongst watchers is the plot. Those who rated the film poorly argue the plot is messy, inconsistent or busy. However, the beginning of the movie sets up the audience to anticipate a series of events that reflect Kat’s (the film’s protagonist) chaotic emotions. After all, the protagonist of the film is an orphaned teenage girl, her commentary and reflections about her surroundings will come off as larger than life.
While the plot contains different storylines, it does not make the movie hard to follow. Everything in the plot is on-the-nose, to say the storyline is messy is to limit the characters back to being one-dimensional or irrelevant to the plot.
Peele’s concepts are so apparent in the screenplay, with commentary on the prison industrial complex and how capitalism fails rural communities. The social commentary of this film is consumable for older children and adults alike. Despite these heavy topics, they stand crucial alongside the plot and I enjoyed how each topic was explored in the film.
Easily, I rate this film five out of five stars. I wish to watch future projects by the Peele and Selick creative duo.