Some of the most creative animated movies are being released and Wendell & Wild on Netflix is one of the unique ones. Read on for a spoiler free review of Wendell & Wild streaming on Netflix.
Wendell & Wild are two afterlife demons (Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key) who have been banished due to their treachery towards their father, Belzer (Ving Rhames.) Desperate to get to the Land of the Living and wanting to rid themselves of their job to grow Belzer’s hair, they make a deal with Kat Elliot (Lyric Ross), a teenager who has a ton of self-blame and guilt. Kat survived a car crash and her parents didn’t, making her essentially an orphan.
Kat is sent to a girls-only school where she is contacted by Wendell & Wild who promise to bring her parents back if she helps them to the Land of the Living. Kat takes the deal but secrets are revealed and the Klaxon family who owns the land in Kat’s small town aren’t who they claim to be.
Wendell & Wild is unique in that it’s an interesting perspective on self-blame, guilt, and private prisons. Kat’s guilt surrounding her parent’s death is consuming, she is unable to make friends or get along with other people due to her obsession with what she feels was her responsibility. A new school doesn’t ease those feelings but her diverse classmates are determined to connect with Kat, and it’s incredibly delightful to see that these aren’t mean girls, they truly want to get to know Kat. It’s also a clear diatribe against marginalized communities and communities that have been abandoned due to corporations taking over the land.
And speaking of diversity, Wendell & Wild is an incredibly diverse animated film. Kat’s social worker is a Native American woman, her friend Raul is a trans boy and it’s clear the animators have so much fun creating these characters of all different backgrounds. Despite being titled Wendell & Wild, this story is more about Kat’s trauma and the people who help her get through it.
The stop-motion animation aspect of Wendell & Wild is a marvel. The scenes of the afterlife fairs (literally fairs that spirits attend when they die) are really inventive and beautiful. The film is dark in coloring and the moments of bright colors, like Kat’s dreams of Wendell & Wild or the demons, own afterlife fair provide some really stunning shots in this film.
Wendell & Wild is rated PG-13 and it’s for substance abuse (Wendell & Wild eat the hair cream and it makes them have “visions”) and there are a lot of discussions around death and the afterlife.