For many families, fresh lockdown children’s entertainment cannot come soon enough. Alexis Stadermann’s 2020 Australian adaptation of Jayne Lyon’s 2008 book, 100% Wolf, might well satisfy that respite – but be prepared for your little animals to run around the house pretending to be wild beasts as the curtains roll!
The movie tells the story of Freddy Lupin (Ilai Swindells) – a young member of a proud line of werewolves – and how his life takes a strange turn when his first warfing experience goes terribly wrong. In the nearby town, the pack roams the rooftops in search of people in need, avoiding their canine enemies and remaining invisible at all times while conducting good deeds along the way. After losing his father and mentor Flashheart (Jai Courtney) at a young age, the lead cannot wait to honour his memory once his own warfing ceremony arrives. However, when he transforms into a dainty little poodle, Freddy is given 24 hours to find the lost moonstone ring or he will be cast out of the pride forever.
As far as kids’ films that aren’t distributed by a typical major studio go, 100% Wolf is certainly an entertaining concept that works. The feature is a bundle of laughs, delivering likeable characters while also providing a palpable sense of jeopardy throughout. Animal protagonists are always sure-fire winners when it comes to a joyful movie targeted at younger viewers, with the record consistently proving that these furry leads can transport audiences to a new world and thrust them into an imaginative, exciting adventure. Reminiscent of pictures such as Over the Hedge in narrative and visual quality, the picture ticks the relevant boxes that make for colourful viewing, with a versatile range of personalities.
Unfortunately, this work’s major flaw falls down to one key element. 100% Wolf is simply too predictable in its narrative structure, following the same general plot that so many have done before. As a children’s book, the concept can easily work, but when interpreted for the cinema the representations of a human boy learning the traits of a dog comes across as quite strange. There are moments that leave onlookers cocking an eyebrow as to what’s on-screen. Although it is understandably a bit of fun, these bizarre instances can dominate certain scenes. Aside from this, the movie is entertaining, particularly for keen young viewers, but others may wish for a bit more creative magic.
Still, this is a potential lockdown watch that will occupy anyone’s little ones for a couple of hours. It may just not be that memorable in the long run.
100% Wolf is released digitally on demand on 30th November 2020.
Watch the trailer for 100% Wolf here: