Wendell and Wild

#340: Link and Josué discuss Wendell and Wild, covering topics like trauma, survivor’s guilt, family dynamics, and shadow integration. Plus, the power of good representation and stop motion animation.


Josué Cardona 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network here Geek Therapy. We believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves is through the media we care about. My name is Cardona. And I’m joined by link Keller.

Link Keller 0:21
Hello, friends,

Josué Cardona 0:24
friend, its just me,

Link Keller 0:26
and the listeners

Josué Cardona 0:27
and the listeners. Yep. Just you and me today when we know, every every week we try to practice what we preach here at Geek Therapy. So we try to look at examples in media that we can dissect and see how we can connect them to basically overanalyze the hell out of them and pick them apart. It’s delicious. It’s so good

Link Keller 0:50
delicious. yumyumyum

Josué Cardona 0:52
So it was your turn to choose our our subject this week, and we’re going to talk about the film. Wendell and wild on Netflix.

Link Keller 1:05

Josué Cardona 1:06
Which I described to someone earlier as Key and Peele. Spooky demon stuff. Stop Motion.

Link Keller 1:14
That’s basically it. We did it, good job, go us!

Josué Cardona 1:17
sold, right if it you like that. I mean, that’s all I needed to know.

Link Keller 1:23

Josué Cardona 1:25
Tell me more about Wendell and wild.

Link Keller 1:28
Wendell and wild is a stop motion animation. Horror comedy. It is directed by Henry Selick, who you may know from Coraline Corpse Bride Nightmare Before Christmas.

Josué Cardona 1:47
So I guess he’s the only one that does stop motion.

Link Keller 1:50
He’s, he’s the big guy. Yeah. And, and then written, in part by him and Jordan Peele. I watched a couple of behind the scenes stuff earlier today in preparation. And what I did not know is that this has been a project since like, 2015. This has been in the works for a long time. Jordan Peele started working on this before get out came out, which is honestly crazy for me to think about, because I feel like it fits in with his works really well. But yeah, it is a story about a young girl, Kat, who has dealt with some pretty heavy stuff. And she has personal demons named Wendell and wild, played by or voiced by Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key. And it is a really sweet story. And the animation is gorgeous. I had a really fun time watching it. And I have watched it a lot, because the child I care for really likes it. And so we have watched it many times.

Josué Cardona 3:10
I have a question. And you said it was in the works since 2015. Does that mean like it was in pre production in 2015? Or have they been?

Link Keller 3:18
I think this was like an idea that Henry had, that this is something that he wanted to do. And he said that he had been a huge fan of Key and Peele, like their comedy show. And he was basically like, I would like to work with them on this. And sort of sent out the feelers is like, it turns out, like they have, like totally meshing ideas about storytelling and characterization and what is funny, and what is scary, and so a good match, they came together, and they created this beautiful work of art that we get to enjoy now, like, seven years later.

Josué Cardona 4:01
I mean, it takes so long, right? To do stop motion.

Link Keller 4:05
Yes, it does.

Josué Cardona 4:07
It takes like, you do like a second a day or something depending on right, it’s a lot it can be because he had to reposition everything and move them and,

Link Keller 4:15
and they did some like really, technically impressive shots, like, doing stop motion in of itself is very intensive, but having the characters moving and also having the camera moving, and having background pieces moving. And, you know, all that stuff is it takes it takes a long time. You know, you spent a really long time doing character design, because that’s the heart of an animation. And so yeah,

Josué Cardona 4:48
yeah, I saw how things were rigged up. I had never seen a stop motion done that way. Yeah.

Link Keller 4:54
it’s so cool right?

Josué Cardona 4:55
Like all these cranes and stuff and moving things around, and I was like, oh, that’s and they’re pretty big too. There was one shot I remember towards the end, where I think it’s Raul is, is looking at the like a car that’s driving away, like the camera moves behind him. And then like, it focuses away from him. But yeah, he’s still there. And then you see the like, they just moved all that stuff like, like they move three different things simultaneously in you know, in micrometers over and over and over again and kept taking pictures until Yeah, now it’s visually really impressive. It looks really cool. Like it Ah, yeah. Other than being beautiful. What do you want to talk about?

Link Keller 5:43
Well, let’s get into some spoilers.

Josué Cardona 5:47

Link Keller 5:47
So for our listeners, if you have not seen this movie, you can keep listening. That’s fine. I don’t mind. But if you want to watch it, you should. It’s really good.

Josué Cardona 5:56

Link Keller 5:58
Basically, it opens with Kat and her parents, and they’re in this town and her parents are doing a special event to try and raise money for the town and to promote growth and all this stuff. And it’s very sweet. And they clearly care about the people that they are around. And then a terrible accident happens. And both of her parents die in a car crash. And she gets shipped off to foster care functionally. And she becomes a little delinquent and gets in trouble and all this stuff. And several years later ends up going back to this town to the Catholic girls school, which is doing a new program called ‘break the cycle’ where they are taking in delinquent children to give them a second chance to succeed. And she’s part of that program. But this town that she’s returning to is is destroyed her parents brewery has been burned down and it was like, bad, which she didn’t know about. And basically, everybody’s moved away. And it’s just the school and then a corporation that is trying to open a for profit prison. And

Josué Cardona 7:32
explicitly. It’s not like, it’s not like a metaphor for prison. It’s not like, you know, we’re, we’re trying to you know, it’s kind of a stretch now it’s, it’s an actual prison, and they lay out their business model,

Link Keller 7:45
which is, which is to get money for, quote, quote, marks help children, but to set them up for failure so that then they go to the prison and they have funds from they make money off of prisoners.

Josué Cardona 8:03
And there’s zero rehabilitation and low quality food, housing, and etc.

Link Keller 8:11
Yes, it is. It is the darkest version. I mean, prison in general is pretty fucking dark already. But that like they lean into is like this is we’re here to do evil and it’s fun. And we’re gonna get filthy, filthy rich off of it.

Josué Cardona 8:29
Yeah, you don’t know what the school to prison pipeline is. Let’s lay it out for step one.

Link Keller 8:35
Step one. Destroy town. Step two. Fuck them kids. Yeah, so it Kat is a hell Maiden,

Josué Cardona 8:54

Link Keller 8:54
which is she has a connection to demons. And her her two demons are Wendell and wild and she summons them because they lie to her and say we will resurrect your parents if you summon us. They want to escape the hell realm that they’re in so that they can build their own amusement park because they don’t like their dad’s amusement park.

Josué Cardona 9:24
There’s more metaphors here on this side of it.

Link Keller 9:29
But they have a magic cream that resurrects people for a short period of time. They call themselves mortician magicians, because they do like the makeup to make them look less obviously dead. It’s very funny. But they have some adventures basically. And she gets a moment to be reunited with her Her parents, which I think is really touching, especially when we get to the end, and she realizes like, they’re, they’re going to, they’re going to die again. And she asked to say goodbye to them. But not before they save the town. But yeah, I think I think talking about the family trauma and the way that the loss of her parents affected, not just her material existence of like, where she was living and who she was growing up around, but like literally how she saw herself and how she saw the world. And I think that’s really important to touch on that when terrible trauma happens to little kids, like the only way they can really conceptualize it is through their own personal lens. And so she feels very much that it was her fault that her parents died. And she could have saved them and failed to do so. And she carries all this guilt about it. And really lashes out at other people. And she specifically tells Raul who yay, trans character representation. I love Raul. He’s so cute. She tells him when she meets is like, Oh, I don’t have friends. Because people who get close to me bad things happen to them and Raul’s like What do you mean bad things and she’s like, they die. So she’s really isolated herself from everything because of this traumatic event that happened to her. And a lot of the adventures that they go through is her reconnecting with people. There are the other girls in the school. And I and I love that they they were so clearly set up to be the mean girls, like you have your, your protagonist goes to a new school and meets the clique of Mean Girls who then bully her. No, these are actually very sweet girls, they want to include her, they give her a nickname, which she hates. And it takes them a while to sort of come around on like, oh, I should respect that you don’t want that nickname. But they do. And I think it’s really sweet that they sort of twisted that stereotype of the Mean Girls clique is like, no, they’re actually really sweet. And they care about their classmates. And they click care about the town and they care about Kat even though they just met her. They’re like, we want you to do well and fit in and be a part of what we’re doing.

Josué Cardona 12:35
She calls them the poodles

Link Keller 12:37
prize poodles.

Josué Cardona 12:41
Yeah. They’re so nice and welcoming. But she is she’s not ready for that. Like she’s not opening up to anybody. So it’s not like she was it was even. In many situations, you’re you find yourself unable to even find someone, right? Who’s gonna be nice to you and kind and open to you. And they were but not yet. It’s not gonna happen. I don’t want that.

Link Keller 13:11
That’s repeated again, when she meets sister Heller, who is also a hell maiden, and is basically like, Hey, I know that this demon thing is happening to you, but like, don’t talk to anybody about it. And it’s like offering this connection with an adult. And she’s not ready for that. And she basically lashes out, like, you’re just doing this for your job. Like, I can’t. I’m not ready. I’m not ready to connect with people in that way. I can’t trust anybody. And also, I think to a certain extent, she feels that she doesn’t deserve those kinds of connections with people. And so it takes her a few scary events happening before she’s finally like, oh, like, No, you’re actually helping me and I can rely on you to be there.

Josué Cardona 14:02
Yeah, yeah. So her story is not explicit in the film, parts of it. So I just want to recap right and go a little deeper into some of the things so she like she screams in the car. And so her parents right like swerve off of the road and fall into the water. And so like she’s the only one who survived. So obviously she feels really guilty about that. And then

Link Keller 14:26
survivor’s guilt.

Josué Cardona 14:27
survivor’s guilt absolutely

Link Keller 14:29
for a nine year old no seven year old,

Josué Cardona 14:32

Link Keller 14:33

Josué Cardona 14:34
She’s 13. Now eight.

Link Keller 14:36

Josué Cardona 14:37
She was eight. Yeah, she was eight when that happened.

Link Keller 14:39
I gotta do a little math. Yeah. eight year old survivor’s guilt. Heavy stuff.

Josué Cardona 14:44
Yeah. But then she goes to what seems like a new school or or a foster care like I’m not sure what it is. If it’s if it’s like a center or if it’s just a school that we see. And they’re bullying her. And then she defends herself and somebody gets hurt. And that’s how she ends up in juvenile detention. And then, and then from there, right, so So first of all, like, she’s being bullied, right? She’s, she’s, she’s got this trauma, apparently, very little support. And then she stands up for herself. She defends herself. And once again, somebody gets hurt. i It doesn’t say it explicitly, but maybe that kid died, because he fell down the stairs. And she keeps saying, like, people around me die.

Link Keller 15:30
Yeah, it’s not explicit. But I absolutely

Josué Cardona 15:33
she ended up in jail

Link Keller 15:34
that reading of being like, the line of like, people around me die is like, yeah, that feels pretty pointed.

Josué Cardona 15:43
Yeah. Regardless, like, even if the kid got hurt, like, to go to jail feels. Again, I mean, it happens, for less. But, um, so she’s in jail. And then when she’s in this program, where, again, she’s just been, why should she trust them? I think she knows that they’re getting paid to take her in. And so that’s, that’s what the program is the break the cycle program. So it’s a pretty bad situation overall. And, you know, hard to trust. All of your who stood up for her, you know, when people were bullying her like, than anybody defend her, you know, is we don’t know, right? Like, all that stuff is kind of just implied. And that’s the way I read it. And, and so that stuff builds up. Right, so then we get to that point where it’s the was it the redemption room? Is that what it’s called?

Link Keller 16:41
Yeah, I think so.

Josué Cardona 16:42
I think so. Right? The Redemption room. So it’s when she goes through the adventure, the redemption room, right? At this one, she’s got like this, like her own. They don’t call it a demon. It’s like this monster inside of her. That is controlling her. Right? That is that is driving her actions. And only in this redemption room, is she able to see that monster. And this part is amazing. Because when she goes into the room, supported by an adult, by the way, right, like Sister Heller actually is supportive here helps her out because she can’t do this alone

Link Keller 17:18
both emotionally, but also, like physically, they tie their hands together.

Josué Cardona 17:21

Link Keller 17:21
it’s very symbolic.

Josué Cardona 17:23
Yeah. And so once she’s there, she sees this monster that is driving her behavior. And it is composed of all of these different pieces of her of her trauma. Right, so it’s like the car with her with her parents in it is like the main body of it. The top is like the music and the things that she does to kind of protect herself and create a barrier between herself and other people. There’s like these shackles and all this stuff, right? And this and this, and she has to this is very much you know, Shadow integration. This is, you know, becoming aware of your unconscious This is she didn’t even realize that these were the things this is where it came from. And sister Heller is like, it’s your memories, right? Your memories are here, you need to you need to you need to realize why. Why you feel the way you feel and why you’re acting the way you’re acting. Like it’s influenced by all these things that happened before. And she’s able to, first of all, battle it, and then go and embrace it. Right? And she’s like,

Link Keller 18:20
and that was such a moment

Josué Cardona 18:21
then she’s like, internalizing. Yeah. And when she breaks through the wall, she sees that it’s a baby, right? It’s like a little tiny. It’s like a kid. Right? And she and she reaches out to to, to help it and then the monster, what’s left of the monster, it comes to her. And then she hugs it, and it’s like, then it becomes a part of her

Link Keller 18:38
the integration. so good.

Josué Cardona 18:40
So good. So so so good

Link Keller 18:43
beautiful, beautiful part.

Josué Cardona 18:45
Fantastic. Yeah,

Link Keller 18:46
visually and emotionally like

Josué Cardona 18:47
Yeah, yeah,

Link Keller 18:48
the, the, you know, the idea of a 13 year old girl who’s been through all of this trauma and really coming to like, understand how this stuff shaped her. And like, seeing that so much of her actions were out of fear. And being able to just like you, as a little girl is a scared little girl and what she needs is to be embraced. It’s like, oh, oh my heart!

Josué Cardona 19:20
five years of therapy in like, three minutes is fantastic.

Link Keller 19:26

Josué Cardona 19:29
That that I mean, that was great. Right? And then oh, and then I love that apparently hell maidens in this world. Once they’re able to overcome that monster inside of them. They they manifest a power. So sister Hellers is that she can like move. She can like disintegrate and move like, like a cloud right along the floor and she just like she can travel very, very quickly. And then and so when when Kat gets her powers that she can see the future, which is really cool. So say, Hey, good job, you beat the boss. Here’s your prize

Link Keller 20:08
you get a power up

Josué Cardona 20:08
you get a new power. Yep.

Link Keller 20:10
you’ve levelled up!

Josué Cardona 20:13
And then, and then, of course, she relies on her friends. And she’s about to save the town. And we’re gonna see her parents. And also, Oh, of course, yeah, she also gets to see her parents before the integration piece. Where they tell her like, it wasn’t your fault. It was an accident. Like, I’m so sorry, but it’s not. You know, like, it wasn’t your fault that I’m sorry that you feel that way.

Link Keller 20:35

Josué Cardona 20:35
Because it’s it wasn’t you, you were a kid. you can’t blame yourself. And but it wasn’t until later that she, she was but I think that she needed that piece of confirmation as well,

Link Keller 20:46

Josué Cardona 20:47
to be able to do that later.

Link Keller 20:48
And just to you know, see them and hug them. I think like, that’s the first time we really see her be physical with any other character in a way that is like, reciprocated, where she’s like, clearly, like not super uncomfortable. Like when she first meets the girls and they you know, get up close to her. And she’s clearly like, oh, please do not touch me. And this is like this moment of like reconnection. It’s really important.

Josué Cardona 21:16
Yeah. I think I think similarly, the what we know that sister Heller kind of went through a similar experience, where she, when she became a hell maiden, and basically people took advantage of her, which is kind of what happened to Kat. Right, like this monster that manifested it only happened because Wendell and Wild tried to manipulate her and, and so we know that sister Heller went through that, when she was a kid, Marlon Brando took advantage of her when since she was a kid.

Link Keller 21:50

Josué Cardona 21:52
Because yeah, because he wanted to catch demons. And, and again, it’s like, she’s on the other side of it now, right? She’s like, I didn’t realize that I was I was being manipulated. You know, and, and I, I didn’t like that. And I don’t do that anymore. Just so we’re clear, that that sucked

Link Keller 22:11
and wants to protect a Kat from that also, which is why she’s like, don’t tell anybody.

Josué Cardona 22:17

Link Keller 22:18
very much so. yeah, I, I liked that. When we get towards the end, and we find out that the priest who runs the school has been doing shady stuff, but for the purpose of making the school work and being able to help these, like cares. And so he’s like, willing to do shady stuff to meet, you know, get that goal and wendell and wild. Just they want, they want to design their dream park they want they want that to exist. And so they the same thing is like they are doing shady stuff to try and get to this goal. And all of them sort of having the realization as like, the the means are not justifying the ends here, you guys like we got to make a change. And then they all team up to battle Klax Korp, the prison group. I thought that that was an important moment in that it’s like, it would be so easy to just completely villainize these other characters as well. And it’s like, no, like they had in they had good intentions, or at least better intentions. But it’s like, your actions don’t exist in a vacuum and the things that you are doing are affecting people. And oftentimes, the people closest to you, the people you care about. And so I think that that was really important that they had that moment.

Josué Cardona 23:56
Yeah. And you’re right, probably father best was his arc was pretty straightforward. From the very beginning. He he was he was also welcoming and compassionate with Kat. I was like, Oh, are you gonna kick me out? Now? He’s like, No, you just got here like that you almost died because I refused to take your hand. he’s like eh You know, it’s fine. And sure

Link Keller 24:18
accidents happen.

Josué Cardona 24:19
Yeah, exactly. But sure he wants the money but like that’s not you know, he’s just playing the game. You know, that doesn’t make him a bad guy. questionable methods later on but you know

Link Keller 24:30
yeah I mean, it’s very much set up is that that is that is the means available to him is in this town. It’s it’s the school and Klax Korp. And it’s like he’s like, if I want this school to work, I need to figure out how to work with them.

Josué Cardona 24:47
I’m gonna I’m gonna say part of that interaction between the Father Father best and the klaxons for I’m gonna I’m gonna hold on to that one.

Link Keller 25:02
we’ll circle back,

Josué Cardona 25:03
yeah, we’ll circle back. Because there’s something important about the dynamics that we see there in a larger context. But first, I want to go a little deeper into Wendell on wild. Because they they’re basically stifled by their father, like like, like limited by their father and their father runs this amusement park for damned souls. into like this, this park sucks, and he doesn’t listen to any of our ideas. And we would like to be a part of it. But dad doesn’t let us do this. And he just gives us stupid chores. And we have an opportunity to leave. So let’s get out of here so that we can live our dream of creating our own amusement park. That is the premise of this movie. The catalyst for everything happening is these two characters wanting to

Link Keller 26:04
have an artistic endeavor and create something without being confined by their father’s expectations of them.

Josué Cardona 26:13
Yeah, this is a

Link Keller 26:14
mm daddy problems.

Josué Cardona 26:17
I can’t think of the word like, it’s like a revolt, right? Like that, like, the kids are revolting against the parents. And, and, and that’s it. They’re just like, again, they’re also like, they’re not, they’re not bad. They were also manipulated and put into a bad situation. They like Kat and they want to help Kat and then they’re screwed over by multiple people. And, and I like that, like, they’re also in a bad spot. I mean, they’re demons, you know. So some things are easier for them to do than than for some of the other characters.

Link Keller 26:51
I do love when they’re first talking with Kat that she’s like, I only want my parents back. They’re like, hold on, hold on. Can we can we raise people from the dead? No, but we can lie. That made me laugh really hard.

Josué Cardona 27:08
But then once they realize they can do it, they’re like, oh, let’s do it. Like we want to help her

Link Keller 27:12
yeah, they’re totally on board. Like, yeah, she’s gonna summon us to the mortal plane and we’ll raise her parents. That seems like a totally easy trade.

Josué Cardona 27:21
Yep. Yeah.

Link Keller 27:22
And it’s not until father best and the Klaxons get involved that they’re like, oh, no, like, if we if we want our dream to be realized we can’t do the thing that Kat wants us to do. Yeah.

Josué Cardona 27:38
Yeah. Yeah. Like when they came out to like, hey, we just we just, let’s test it on someone. You’re alive now pay us. He’s like, what? isn’t how money like, they don’t know how money works right? Like, there are also children in the sense of like, we just want to build a park and we need money to do it. So we’ll do something and you have to pay us right. That’s, that’s, that’s the way this works. So I like their story. I like that I like the you know, that the parent at the ends, like, you know, all my kids grow up, and they leave and they never come back. And I just

Link Keller 28:10
his Belzer is the father demon. And his realization is like, oh, like, the way that I treat my children is why they leave and I don’t have a relationship with them anymore. And I actually don’t like that which, upon reflection means that I need to change. It’s like, oh, wowee

Josué Cardona 28:34
I know. And then he gets all his kids back games like, help me design new park, right? Like, we need a new one. I guess, you know, I’ve been stupid, maybe I should listen to my kids. Include them in the family business. They literally do nothing else. But But that’s so it should be pretty easy. So that was that was a nice resolution there as well. So I’m ready to circle back to the Klaxons. Okay. So I was thinking about the I said, you know, the priests is playing the game, right? And you said like, that’s all there is there’s a school and the Klaxons what are you gonna do? So I want to have a conversation about the way that race is represented in the movie. And one of the most telling things to me is how father best who is portrayed as Asian I would say, right in the in terms of like his physical appearance, and voiced by an Asian actor. But he’s playing golf with the klaxons, which to me is like the I once call it the whitest sport in the world at a time which is recorded. Yeah, right. But it reminded reminds me of an episode of This Is Us. Where this is us is about a family who adopts a, a child on the same day that they have twins, who is and so but but the family is white and this one child, Randall is black. And then there’s an episode later on where he’s, like running for office. And he’s trying to get support from another politician. And he goes, and he’s like, Well, I guess I gotta go play golf. And right, and he, like, he doesn’t play well, because you know, it’s not something

Link Keller 30:29
Hasn’t spend his whole youth doing that.

Josué Cardona 30:32
Right. But then at the end of the episode, you show how it shows how you know, like, because he wasn’t that great. And he was willing to be able to learn the other congressmen like, felt, I don’t know, like, oh, like, maybe I can help this person out. You know, he’s willing to come here and to learn. And then the politician leaves. And you see that Randall is actually amazing at golf. His father had taught him because his father told him, if you want to get by in this world, you want to you want to connect with white people, you need to learn how to do this sport.

Link Keller 31:01
what a reveal!

Josué Cardona 31:02

Link Keller 31:02
He pool sharked him

Josué Cardona 31:04
I know, I know. But it was like, how do you how do you control that situation? Where, like, that’s the whitest thing you can possibly be a part of that. How do you play that game to your advantage? Sometimes you want to play well, sometimes you want to not play well, you know, so you can put people maybe more at ease, etc. And so I thought I thought it was interesting, that when, when father best is going to the klaxons to try to get this, this money, right. It’s just like, we’re gonna do it over golf. Of course. and they kill him with the golf club. Right?

Link Keller 31:36
That they do.

Josué Cardona 31:38
Yeah. But I was thinking about, have you seen the interview with with Jordan Peele, where someone asks him about, like, why there aren’t more white characters in his in his movies?

Link Keller 31:52
I don’t think so.

Josué Cardona 31:54
So his reaction was like, I think, you know, I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember exactly what he says. But his response was

Link Keller 32:00
I’m not making it for white people?

Josué Cardona 32:05
well partially, but also like, you can go watch all the other movies that star white people. I purposefully am like, casting this movie with people of color. And yes, explicitly, it’s the white people were the bad guys. It’s like that’s like, that’s not that’s not a coincidence. You know? That doesn’t happen very often. So that’s the movie that I want to make, that I’m allowed to make. And I’m going to make and I made, and people liked it.

Link Keller 32:41
Loved it. Yeah, I love it.

Josué Cardona 32:44
So he wasn’t right so this movie wasn’t directed, I guess you said Jordan Peele was, um, he co wrote the movie. And so I kept thinking about that. I was like, oh, like, you don’t see a white character for a while, into the movie. And I thought that that was really interesting. And, and it feels very intentional, as well. Any thoughts on the on the cultural representation of the film,

Link Keller 33:11
I think it’s incredibly important. For representation. I think it’s also like, visually valuable to have that in an animation. But one of one of the interviews I watched earlier today, Jordan Peele was talking about Kats design. And he’s like, I am in love with Kats design with her Afro uh

Josué Cardona 33:37
dyed green,

Link Keller 33:37
her bubble…

Josué Cardona 33:39
Yeah, the pom pom thing.

Link Keller 33:42
afro puffs! And, and the eyebrow piercings. And he he explicitly says he’s like, if I had seen this as a child, it would have changed my whole life.

Josué Cardona 33:53

Link Keller 33:54
and I think that is so important that we get to hear that from creators is like people are making the things that they that they need that they need to see in the world. And it is so important for the young people who get to grow up with this as being the norm, but also for the people who didn’t grow up with it as being the norm and getting to see it become realized and exist, and be well received. And seeing people fall in love with it is so important. So I thought that that was a really touching moment that Jordan talked about.

Josué Cardona 34:35
And her her appearance is also like, yes, she’s black, but she’s also punk, which is like

Link Keller 34:42
oh, hell yeah

Josué Cardona 34:43
right, which is which is like a revolution. aesthetic, right? It’s like, I’m standing up against against power like I’m standing out and

Link Keller 34:54
she gets her Catholic school girl outfit and the first thing she does is she cuts it up and fills it with safety pins. And oh, it’s so good.

Josué Cardona 35:03
It was boots everything Yeah.

Josué Cardona 35:05
ohh the boots! when wild take them why’d you do that he’s like I wanted to be a little taller. It’s just like not the boots!

Josué Cardona 35:16
There were my size.

Link Keller 35:17
they were my size. Love that very fun.

Josué Cardona 35:21
Yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 35:22
But yeah, I think I think Jordan has been Jordan Peele has been very consistent about being like this stuff needs to exist. Yeah. And you can tell by how well received it is by fans. People all over the world saying like I needed to see this. To see myself reflected in the media that I enjoy. I needed to see myself in this kind of story that I can relate to.

Josué Cardona 35:49

Link Keller 35:50
it’s really important.

Josué Cardona 35:52
Like the city council. It seemed like it I’m not, I’m not entirely sure. But it seemed like it was two older black women, two Hispanic people, one East Asian person. They were the city council. But then when all the zombies came in

Link Keller 36:09
the old guard.

Josué Cardona 36:10
all the zombies seemed.

Link Keller 36:14
They’re just like skeletal but then you see their portraits on the wall when they go and they stay they’re all old white people

Josué Cardona 36:22
Yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 36:26
hmmmm Interesting.

Josué Cardona 36:27
it was not subtle

Link Keller 36:31
I wonder if this is social commentary?

Josué Cardona 36:33
feel kinda of social commentary-y. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s good to see it right when it’s explicit. And it’s not ambiguous in any way. It’s like, oh, the old guard is back. Oh, no, of course, they came back from the dead to screw us over to outvote us.

Link Keller 36:51
that sounds familiar. I think it’s also really important this, like, they raise these, the old guard. And, like, it does not benefit them in any way to participate in this thing. But they do it because the rich white people ask them to.

Josué Cardona 37:11
Also it goes with, like, oh, there’s no way we can win. So how can we rig the system? How can we break the rules? Because if we follow the regular rules, we can’t win. And we’re, they’re dead? And we’re nobody’s going to vote for us. But what if, what if Hear me out? What if we raise the dead? Right? Like you’re basically a member of the Council for life? So if we bring them back just to vote for

Link Keller 37:38
a real, there’s no rules against dogs playing basketball moment? They can come back and vote.

Josué Cardona 37:48
No, but

Link Keller 37:48
and everybody’s just like, yeah, I guess so.

Josué Cardona 37:51
It’s, it’s what it’s like interdimensional gerrymandering. It’s like, well, no, we’re going to redraw the lines. And it’s going to include these dead people over here, and now they can vote,

Link Keller 38:02
if you count the corpses. There are more white people here. So

Josué Cardona 38:08
more white corpses. that does not sound too far from like, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that one day where it’s like, well, you know, we’re now we’re counting historical. You know, it’s like, we, we know how they would have voted. You know, and so we’re respecting their wishes, you know, you know it, you know, I have thoughts about this now

Link Keller 38:38
I mean, honestly, given the election that we just, we just had, and it’s like, why all of these places voted way more blue than expected. And it’s like, I don’t know, if you recall, but we’re living in plague times and a bunch of people died. And a lot of those people would have voted red and they can’t vote anymore because they died. And it’s like, Oh, if they you know what if this movie had come out two years ago, we might we might have dead votes. They would have been like, Wait a second. This is a great idea. oh, goodness

Josué Cardona 39:21
prophectic. Yeah. Yeah, no, this movie touched a lot of things in one film, and did them very well.

Link Keller 39:33

Josué Cardona 39:34
Also a very fun movie.

Link Keller 39:35
Also very fun. I do I do want to touch on one of the big moments shift moments is when Raul’s art project is revealed. And it is this really cool like huge painting that is done on the roofs of all of the houses in the town. And it is a picture of a parent holding their child and fighting A dragon and it’s like very symbolic. And it really resonates with literally everybody. And I think that that circles back to what we’ve been talking about is like this movie. Like this is art, art changes things, art affects people. It changes the way that we think about who we are and and how we fit into the world and how we relate to other people. And that’s some that’s some Geek Therapy stuff right there.

Josué Cardona 40:30

Link Keller 40:31
Yum, yum, yum.

Josué Cardona 40:32
So good. that was really good.

Link Keller 40:38
Raul is a true hero.

Josué Cardona 40:41
Seriously, and so was his mom, right? Like his mom was trying to save the town.

Link Keller 40:45
Yeah, his his mom is a paralegal. But she’s also like the head leader of the board. And so it’s like, she’s trying to save the town. And he’s doing what he can just make art and exist authentically. I do love that we have a moment where his mom is explicitly supporting him is like, No, I have a son.

Josué Cardona 41:10

Link Keller 41:11
it’s like, mmmm, yummy.

Josué Cardona 41:14
Yep, ah, yeah. Didn’t have to be a whole thing. It’s just, it’s just an affirming moment, to a lot of people.

Link Keller 41:25
Also, the framing of that scene is we don’t hear the person on the other side of the phone. So we don’t have to hear the transphobia we just hear this support of like, No, I support my trans kid, I love my trans kid, which I think is a really important choice to make in media is to like, include the support without highlighting the attack and transphobia. And gross stuff is like, you can we can insinuate it people get it. It’s fine. But we’re going to be explicit about that. Like, this kid is loved and supported.

Josué Cardona 42:04
I liked when, when Raul showed Kat the photo of when he was basically one of the poodles. And

Link Keller 42:13

Josué Cardona 42:14
she just looked at it. Like, oh, like, you were one of, like you were with them, or you were friends with them, or you were one of them, something like that. And that was it. And it reminds me of how, like, if you, if kids know from the beginning, and they meet people who are different from them, it’s not that big of a deal. It just is what it is. Nobody’s freaking out. You know? Like, again, I mean, I don’t know how many of these videos and things that I’ve seen are true, but I’m sure some of them are. Or, you know, kids like hey, yeah, like, I got something to tell you. Like, you know, like, your mom is gay or something. Like, okay, cool. Can I keep playing video games?

Link Keller 42:57

Josué Cardona 42:59
It’s like, yeah no, there’s trans kids at school

Link Keller 43:02
I mean for kids Like, especially for young children. It’s like, literally anything that happens, they don’t have frame of reference. So it’s like, whatever is happening, like this is normal. So it’s like, if you treat that stuff as normal, which it is, is like that’s how they grow up. That’s the assumption that that their worldview is built upon, is like these people exist, and it’s fine and normal and not really something like why why are we bringing it up? I don’t, like can we play more video games?

Josué Cardona 43:31
Yep. Yep. You’re wasting my time. It this is not as important as you think it is. To me. Yeah. Which again, is good. Is it to the to the Jordan Peele point from before. I like seeing it in media is huge as well.

Link Keller 43:47

Josué Cardona 43:51
The best way to understand each other, and ourselves

Link Keller 43:54
through the media that matters!

Josué Cardona 43:57
It’s good stuff. Oh, yeah, this was good. This was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. Yeah, me too. Is the music original. Like the music in it?

Link Keller 44:07
there is some original scoring but they they use some needle drops of actual like punk rock music, which I felt was utilized very well. Like they really nailed when, you know, she comes in with the the Cyclops her dad’s old boombox with the eyeball painted on. I’m like, I want that.

Josué Cardona 44:25
Yes. I know

Link Keller 44:27
Yeah, very, very well crafted sound design

Josué Cardona 44:30
Cuz there were two songs. Yeah, there were two songs that had lyrics and one of them was so specific to like, raising the dead with cream or something like that. I figured, yeah. This must be original.

Link Keller 44:41
yeah I think that one They wrote for the movie.

Josué Cardona 44:47
Hair cream for resurrecting people. Yeah. Also this cast what an amazing cast. Like it’s so good. Yeah, it’s good stuff. really Good,

Link Keller 45:01
it’s really good which is great. And I’ll probably be watching it another 30 or 40 more times this year?

Josué Cardona 45:12
I’m glad you appreciated the Marlo the Marlon Brando joke. I forgot his name

Link Keller 45:17
It was actually actually very funny when I watched it the first time with my friends. And one of them goes is that Marlon Brando? I’m like, Marlon Brando is dead. And they’re like, no, no, like his face. I was like, Oh, yes. I was like, they didn’t get him to voice act. He’s dead! But maybe they did. Maybe they had some magic hair cream. Oh, no. It’s another guy. But yeah, I do. Like that character’s design. He’s a wheelchair user and I love that He has fake feet on the pedals. That made me laugh every time they were on screen. I thought that was so great.

Josué Cardona 45:17
Did he Did he throw them?

Link Keller 45:56
he did

Josué Cardona 45:56
Throw one of his feet at Angela Bassett, how dare you

Link Keller 46:03
you can’t do that

Josué Cardona 46:04
punch them out? Yeah,

Link Keller 46:05
she’s gonna get you.

Josué Cardona 46:07
Oh, yeah. Yeah, Ving Rhames. oh it’s so good, so Good. Closing thoughts on the movie?

Link Keller 46:15
I love this movie. I think it is gonna be a staple for years to come. I love stop motion animation. I think it’s beautiful. And the emotional impact of this movie is still reverberating through my heart. I hope that our listeners hopefully have already seen it and enjoyed it and are gushing along with us. But if not, I hope that this podcast encourages them to check it out because it is worth your time.

Josué Cardona 46:49
Yes. In a lot of fun. And to recap, we’ve got feeling we’ve got we’ve got we got trauma. We’ve got feeling alone. We’ve got

Link Keller 47:01

Josué Cardona 47:02
we got guilt,

Link Keller 47:04
we got the school to prison pipeline.

Josué Cardona 47:08
parents just don’t understand. We got the importance of golf. Yeah, no, it touches a lot of subjects that I think I think it’d be would work really well as conversation starters. And there’s a lot of really good moments. And my favorite was definitely that part where she discovers this, this, this monster. And what it’s composed of really helps her understand why she feels the way she feels

Link Keller 47:37
she defeats it and then she accepts it.

Josué Cardona 47:39

Link Keller 47:40

Josué Cardona 47:42
amazing scene. Well we’d love to hear what you think about this movie. So let us know in one of our community spaces, which you can find the links in the show notes. And for more Geek Therapy and visit geek therapy.org Remember to geek out and do good back next week

Link Keller 48:01
mmm bye

Josué Cardona 48:04
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Wendell and Wild (2022)
  • Key and Peele
  • Coraline (2009)
  • Corpse Bride (2005)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Get Out (2017)
  • Kat / Wendell and Wild
  • Raul / Wendell and Wild
  • Sister Heller / Wendell and Wild
  • Father Best / Wendell and Wild
  • This Is Us
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Consequences
* Cultural representation
* Death
* Difficult emotions
* Family
* Fear
* Feeling alone
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* Guilt
* Honesty/Lies
* Trans representation
* Making new friends
* Moral dilemma
* Resilience
* Shadow Integration
* Strong female role models
* Standing up for oneself
* Trust
* Working with others

Relatable Experience:

* Bullying
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Death
* Disability
* Fear/Anxiety
* Fighting
* Foster Care/Adoption
* Survivor’s Guilt
* New Life Event (New Rules)
* Trauma

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

What did you think of Wendell and Wild? Which characters do you most relate to?

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