Wendell & Wild ending explained – how does Kat get some closure?

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: October 28, 2022 (Last updated: January 31, 2023)

We discuss the ending of the Netflix film Wendell & Wild, which will contain spoilers. How does Kat get some closure? Let’s find out. 

The film is directed by Henry Selick and co-written by Jordan Peele. The theme of grief carries that emotional weight and is powerfully explored through the stop-motion animation. However, the direction of the story is a bit messy. The pacing of the film felt rushed because the character introductions were cut short and not explained. At some points, the story with Kat is placed on the back burner because of the other storylines being explored.

There is a connection with the underworld to Wendell & Wild that is also a weak link to Kat because they use her to bring them back to the Land of the Living. Anything is possible through animation, so her theoretical demons manifest into physical beings for her to see. Unfortunately, Kat blames herself for her parent’s death and carries this with her. She goes to a new boarding school and discovers that she has different powers that link her to the underworld.

Three different stories are being told and it could have worked if they were layered differently. Each new piece of information is being thrown into the mix to hold more of a personal tie to Kat. There are monsters that we carry, monsters that we don’t believe in, and monsters that manifest themselves in other people.

Selick and Peele also try to address big corporate monsters who do not care about the little people which completely gets lost in this story. Kat is a different character, as her punk-rock look and detached demeanor somehow carry this movie. Not only is she a young teenager looking to find herself, but she is also a “Hellmaiden” with a direct link to the underworld. It is also a parallel to her being able to search deep within herself to expel the darkness from her mind to live free of her past. 

Wendell & Wild ending explained – how does Kat get some closure?

At the end of Wendell & Wild, there is a long action sequence that pits the corporate bullies against a small army of kids, demons, and zombies. The corporate “monsters” who are the real villains of the film do get arrested for arson and homicide, while the parents of the hero Kat — who have just been brought back from the dead — must return to where they come from. So Kat brings back her parents and then doesn’t spend any time with them for the majority of the movie.

It is sad that Kat is losing her parents again, but after expelling her demons, she’s able to move forward with her life. Kat’s future is bright because she is able to close that chapter in her life. Even Wendell & Wild get a happy ending because they get to create the “Dream Faire” as they always intended.

What did you think of the ending of Wendell & Wild? Comment below. You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.

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