Image via Netflix
Stop-motion is one of the most fascinating beasts in show business. With all the charm it can bring as embodied by the likes of Wallace and Gromitit goes without saying that he has an unrivaled fear factor if given the right accents, like that of Phil Tippett Crazy God so generously (and disturbingly).
At first sight, Wendell & Wild, the latest stop-motion feature to arrive on Netflix next month, seems to be treading that perfect middle ground of stop-motion animation skills. Directed by stop-motion master Henry Selick (The nightmare before Christmas, Coraline) and written by Selick and modern horror maverick Jordan Peele (Come out, we, no), Wendell & Wild follows the plight of Kat Elliot, a 13-year-old girl with a terrible past who finds herself trying to start over in the city where it all happened. She soon realizes, however, that she will have to face her demons if that ever happens. The socket? Her demons, Wendell and Wild (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele respectively), are demons in the most literal sense and are trying to find their way into the Land of the Living.
And after just finishing its run at the Toronto International Film Festival, the reviews are coming in hot and fast, and it looks like Wendell & Wild it is firing on most cylinders, but not all.
Chase Hutchinson of Collider
When it all comes together, Wendell & Wild it ends up feeling liberating, both artistically and thematically, with the best work of all involved.
The playlistJason Bailey had a few more reserves, struggling to give points to the tone of the film, which he found inconsistent.
Had it been a little tighter (lasts a rather flaccid 105 minutes) or a faster pace, they might have really had something here; the highs are high, but Selick struggles to keep his narrative momentum alive.
And Megan Navarro of Bloody disgusting found a forgivable mistake from a completely opposite angle, suggesting the film was a little too dense for his own good.
It’s a fun, if a little over the top, game through hell and back, with memorable characters and fun macabre hijinks.
Wendell & Wild will begin a limited film run on October 21 before landing on Netflix on October 28.