Wendell & Wild Review: A Spooky Season Treat with an Afro-Punk Twist Wednesday 26 October, 2022

Director Henry Selick’s return to stop-motion animation with his newest film, Wendell & Wild coming to Netflix just in time for spooky season. Selick, whose previous films include “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Coraline,” has an impressive lineup of all-star actors as the characters voices such as: Ving Rhames, James Hong, Angela Bassett, David Harewood and Peele who reunited with partner Keegan-Michael Key.

Speaking of Jordan Peele, note only does he voice of Wendell , but help developed Wendell & Wild with Selick. Peele has been making his mark in the horror world for the last few years, so going the animated route is equally chilling and brilliant. It’s been more than 10 years since director Henry Selick’s last film Coraline, and this new film presented on Netflix  Wendell & Wild is going to give us more than a sweet tooth this Halloween.


From the delightfully wicked minds of Henry Selick and Jordan Peele, comes Wendell & Wild, an animated tale about scheming demon brothers Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele) – who enlist the aid of Kat Elliot – a tough teen with a load of guilt – to summon them to the Land of the Living. But what Kat demands in return leads to a brilliantly bizarre and comedic adventure like no other, an animated fantasy that defies the law of life and death, all told through the handmade artistry of stop motion.


The animation style is concocted with hyper-realism but with the same nostalgic creation as you would get from Selick’s previous work such as “Nightmare Before Christmas”. It was wonderful to see the diversity of this film come to life animatedly, especially with a black girl lead rocking green Afro-puff.

It’s giving baby “Craft” vibes with the catholic school girl attire and the spells. It’s also giving Mean Girls. Listen I always said there were parallels to Mean Girls and The Craft, so if this is the animation version of it that had a baby – so be it! The lead character a times remind me of the little girl in “Us”, which I am sure was intentional parallels as Peele put a baby nugget in there for a animated vs reality link.

Kat Elliot, a thirteen year old teen is facing a lot of demons in more ways than one. She is a rebel, but when you find out her story, you can understand why wholeheartedly. Visually I was in awe to actually see a little Melanated girl as she comes of age in the darkest way. Although this movie is coming out during the Halloween season, this is a timeless movie with a strong message. Do not get this confused with A Nightmare Before Christmas, with Jack and all of his creepy iconic friends. The demons are real to Kat as she becomes a hell maiden, but they are physical and metaphorical as well. How do you raise up the demons in your life and do you let them control you, or do you put your demons in check?

Also, Kat is an alternative black girl in this universe! An Afro-punk queen which we barely see the representation of alt black and people of color animated or not. This is the genius of both Selick and Peele to strip away any monolithic tropes surrounding black character with leads. Kat instantly morphs her style with her green afro puffs, piercings, and altered her clothes in a grunge, punk style to flip her preparatory standards upside down.

I highly recommend watching this film. It’s has some intense parts, which gives it a strong PG-13 rating, but if one is of age this is a must watch. The overall message I would get from this film is to understand we all have demons, but will you let them drag you to hell? Do you let your demons remind you of your pain and suffering? Do you let your demons con you? Also I think this film will give the new generation of kids to love the beauty of stop-motion animation and a new cult classic!

Wendell & Wild hits Netflix Oct. 28

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty

Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty

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