Sheep & Wolves begins with a happy village of sheep living strangely harmoniously under the shadow of a pack of wolves. Ethical wolves. Wolves that only kill when they need to. But when the pack leader announces his retirement, the only two competitors for the title are Ragear, a blood-thirsty wolf who sees a very different future for the pack, and Grey, a joker who would rather have a dance-off than a fight to determine the new leader.
But Grey has another distraction; his girlfriend Bianca. One of a worryingly small number of females in the large pack. But even more concerning than the lack of female characters, is their portrayal. Bianca is marriage-obsessed and desperate for Grey to change into the wolf she wishes he was. She’s completely one-dimensional, but fares better than her two female companions who are nothing more than token sidekicks. But Bianca has been rendered to be so overtly sexual, it’s totally inappropriate for a kid’s movie. I watched this with my 5 year old son, and her look, her walk, everything about her made me very uncomfortable.
So, with her insistence that he change for the better ringing in his ears, Grey stumbles across Mami; a fortune-teller rabbit. He asks for a potion that will change him, and she haphazardly gives him something without properly checking the instructions. Far from the result he was after, he finds himself turned into a ram, and has to navigate life as prey rather than predator. Of course, he has to prove himself in his new form to be able to change back, otherwise he’ll be stuck that way forever. It’s a tired old story that has been done so many times before, and done a lot better.
Any parent knows that they will suffer watching the same movies countless times, and this is not one I’d relish watching over and over. It has nothing for adults, and little more for children either. My son claimed it to be ‘boring’ numerous times, and I couldn’t disagree with him. It’s a dull story packed full of tropes with characters that have all the emotional depth of a puddle.
The story unravels exactly as you’d expect it to, but I didn’t care about the characters enough to celebrate in their triumphs or fear for their safety. This movie’s only saving grace was its short running time.
Dir: Andrey Galat, Maxim Volkov
Scr: Neil Landau (English version)
Cast: Tom Felton, Ruby Rose, Jim Cummings, China Anne McClain
Prd: Yi Feng, Yuriy Moskvin, Vladimir Nikolaev, Sergey Selyanov
Music: Alexandre Lessertisseur
Run time: 81 minutes
UK DVD release 9th April 2018