‘Wendell And Wild’ Offers Representation and Important Lessons About Trauma

Wendell & Wild boasts a familiar look, as fans of Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas will immediately recognize the style of gorgeous stop-animation. Henry Selick certainly has a way of leaving his mark on the projects he works on, and this one is no different. Wendell & Wild dives into the effects of trauma, while bringing representation to the screen, in a spooky but silly way.

Featuring the reunion of the hilarious Keagen-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, there is a lot to love about this movie, but the slow pace at times keeps it from being as good as its predecessors.

Allowing kids to see themselves on screen is important, so it should be celebrated that not only is the main cast Black, there is a transsexual student at the school. It is mentioned several times, and he is supported by his friends and loving mother.

Wendell & Wild Deals With The Effects Of Trauma

After her parents' untimely death, Kat (voiced by Lyric Ross) goes down a spiral. She blames herself and it shapes her new self, who is a punk who cares little for anything in the world. This movie follows her journey after she is released from prison and sent to an all girls Catholic school, where she discovers secrets that help her down the path of bringing her parents back, and all she has to do is make a deal with kooky demons Wendell and Wild.

'Wendell And Wild' Offers Representation and Important Lessons About Trauma
Image Credit: Netflix.

The themes of this movie focus heavily on the effects of the trauma that Kat has endured. Not only did she lose her parents at a young age, she can’t help but blame herself. This has led her down a very dark path. When she makes a deal with the demons it is clear that she would even give up her own life in order to bring her parents back. She is so focused on this event from her past that she has not been able to continue life.

This is an important lesson for kids to learn. That while it is perfectly normal to mourn, it should be done so in a way that allows the living to continue to live. Of course everyone deals with trauma in their own way, but there are unhealthy ways to do so.

Is Wendell & Wild Scary?

Wendell & Wild isn’t exactly scary. There are very few jump scares, but it is on the creepy side. The visuals are similar to Corpse BrideCoraline, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Things that are done in the stop-animation would be far more terrifying if done in live-action, but because of the style it makes them more spooky than terrifying.

Even though it is a movie that families can enjoy together, it might be a bit too much for a younger audience (think kids under 8). It never crosses the line into horrific or gory, and parents know their kids best. There are themes of death and destruction, so keep that in mind.

Wendell & Wild Loses Itself – But Just For a Minute

There is really only one issue with Wendell & Wild, but it does take away from the film as a whole. It feels far longer than it is. Things start off at a decent speed, moving through the story at a good pace, but in the middle it starts to drag.

Perhaps this is because it is just stuffed with so many plot points, but it ends up feeling far longer than the one hour and forty-five minutes that it clocks in at by the time it ends.

The Comedy Delivers, Though

Thanks to Key and Peele’s reunion as the mischievous Wendell & Wild, the slowness can be somewhat forgiven. The comedic relief is on point, throughout the whole movie, and offers several laugh-out-loud moments. Seeing, or rather hearing, these two back together will leave fans overjoyed. They play their role perfectly, being a great addition to the story, but also allowing for Lyric to shine as Kat.

It might not become a cult classic like The Nightmare Before Christmas, but Wendell & Wild is the perfect addition to your Halloween film lineup, so tune in as soon as it hits Netflix on October 28th.

Rating: 7/10 SPECS

Wendell and Wild releases in select cinemas on October 21, 2022, and streams on Netflix starting October 28.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.