100% Wolf is a thought-free zone for kids and adults alike. A plus for viewers wanting to look at bright colours and flashing lights, but a bit of a bummer for those who like their animation a little less hyper. Even if young movie goers enjoy the mindless entertainment that 100% Wolf is dishing out, they still might have a hard time grasping the storyline and the type of frenetic fantasy it relishes in.
Our main character is Freddy Lupin (voiced by Ilai Swindells), a young go-getter who wants to be part of his family’s pack – a literal pack of werewolves. Now in his teens and still reeling from the death of his father, it’s finally time for Freddy to endure his first transformation as a night-prowling beast. Shockingly though, his final form is a petite poodle. He’s humiliated but also scared considering the rivalry between werewolves and dogs. In fear he’ll be booted from his family, Freddy uses the evening to prove himself as a wolf – by retrieving a stolen, coveted MacGuffin…erm…Moonstone.
Aside from its blatant borrowing from other family films (Disney’s The Lion King seems to be a frequent inspiration, especially the addition of Freddy’s shady uncle), there’s an odd absence of a message sporting the power of individuality in 100% Wolf. With Freddy being a literal lone wolf, the opportunity hangs in the air waiting for screenwriter Fin Edquist to tag it in until it expires by the end credits. Also, with every dated music cue and jab at dogs marking their territory, the movie’s humour feels stale as well. But these flaws are undetected by the filmmakers as they strive to deliver a simple adventure of “good guys vs. bad guys”. Director Alexs Stadermann is up to the task, resulting in a harmless and attractive, long-form Saturday morning cartoon that may please children despite how barebones the movie is.
However, when animated, family-friendly films continue to set new standards and challenges for their audiences, a heady film like 100% Wolf ends up being the forgettable cinematic equivalent of a sugar rush and the immediate crash afterwards.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie