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Parents' Guide to

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Mature animated fantasy has violence, gore, language.

Movie NR 2021 81 minutes
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This movie is as much a character study as an introduction to a fantasy universe. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf seems to exist as a way to tide the superfans of the Netflix show over until Season 2 begins, and to also introduce a new/old character into that world. In this movie, we get the backstory of Vesimir, who had trained the character Geralt on the show. The overarching themes of the movie are moral ambiguity and reckoning with one's past, and the story can be enjoyed on its own terms for those unfamiliar with this universe. Striking the right balance between providing both an in for newbies and something enjoyable for those already immersed in this world is no easy task, as so many similar attempts to do so in the assorted fantasy and superhero "universes" will attest.

It works as a character study, as we see Vesimir's development from being a "churlish knave" to someone whose inner life and past is so much more complicated than that devil-may-care persona he presents in the tavern over several goblets of wine. The violence, however, does come across as excessive at times, and doesn't really add anything to the story except gory images of eyes dangling from sockets and the like. It's not always easy to know (or care) the differences between your Mages and your Leshens and the assorted flora and fauna that populate this world. Still, it's a good entry point into this world if you haven't seen any episodes of the show, as it tells a story from that world without spoiling anything from the show.

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