Animated movies have raised the bar of child-like creativity and innovative imagination so high that it is tough to imagine anything extraordinary from the genre. However, ‘The Willoughbys’ is yet another animated film that fascinates viewers with its fantastical visuals and surreal story.
Ricky Gervais essays the role of a feline narrator. On the other hand, Will Forte, Maya Rudolf, Terry Crews, and Alessia Cara also lend their voices. ‘The Willoughbys’ makes viewers feel everything that an animated movie is supposed to make one feel: enchantment, joy, a wee bit of grief, and tons of warmth.
The Willoughbys Plot Summary:
The Willoughbys are a proud family with successful ancestors. However, in the current generation, the parents are extremely neglectful of their parental duties. The parents are too busy loving each other and sometimes even forget that they have kids. Tim is their eldest son, while Jane is their daughter. Then there are the twins: the youngest of the lot, both of them called Barnaby.
One day, Jane finds an orphan that somebody leaves outside their door. However, the parents are not too fond of the orphan baby. They kick their children out of the house, asking them to return only after they’ve gotten rid of the orphan. The Willoughby kids name the orphan Ruth and drop it at a candy factory whose owner is called Commander Melanoff. On their way back, Jane floats the idea of “orphaning” themselves. The kids devise a plan where they make a fake travel agency and send their parents to dangerous places for a holiday, hoping that they die. The parents fall for it.
The parents call a nanny named Linda to look after the kids in their absence. However, Tim thinks that the nanny is working for his parents and calls the orphan services. The orphan services send the kids to different foster homes. Linda rescues Tim first, and then they rescue the others. However, the kids realize that they need their biological parents so that the orphan services can stop bothering them.
They go to Commander Melanoff’s candy factory and make a flying machine so that they can reach their parents. Their parents are on a dangerously tall mountain in Switzerland. The kids somehow manage to reach the top and find their parents buried in a heap of snow. They save their parents. The parents, however, trick the kids and use their plane to escape. However, their plane crashes.
Amidst a snowstorm, the kids hug each other. Luckily, Commander Melanoff and Linda save them. The kids ask Melanoff and Linda if they would be their parents. The seven of them decide to be a family.
The Willoughbys Ending Explained
While the ending of ‘The Willoughbys’ is charming and leaves one feeling warm and hopeful, many viewers might have wondered how the problems of the protagonists disappear so easily. Would the Willoughby kids not be put in foster homes again since they could not manage to bring their parents back?
Well, the answer to that question is rather simplistic and provided in the movie itself. Towards the end, there is a frame that shows an adoption certificate. This proves that Melanoff and Linda marry each other and adopt the Willoughby kids. The seven of them (there is Ruth too, remember?) start to live together as a family. The ending is certainly a little too easy. But it ought to be remembered that ‘The Willoughbys’ is an animated film that functions a lot on surrealism.
What happens to the parents, though? The parents are given a somewhat happy ending too. They find themselves on a makeshift raft in the ocean after the flying machine crashes. They are still extremely happy because the two of them are together. However, a shark jumps out of the ocean and at them, opening its big wide mouth. It is not revealed whether the shark eats the parents or not. However, their voice can be heard ever so faintly when the screen goes blank. It can be reasonably assumed that the parents survive being eaten by the shark as well. They have survived tons of other near-death scenarios, after all.
‘The Willoughbys’ leaves viewers with a positive message. It shows how one will not get everything one wants in life. However, the universe finds a way to give one what one needs. The kids find a loving family that wants them. Ruth is no longer an orphan. Linda, having been an orphan herself, finds a loving family too. Commander Melanoff is no longer lonely. The Willoughby parents get to be together, without the responsibility of looking after their kids. All is well that ends well.
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