People think so little of children’s minds. When talking of children’s movies, any tone bleaker than perpetual cheer is ‘dark’. Into the Woods is ‘dark’. The NeverEnding Story is ‘dark’. How fragile do they think children are? No, Ringing Bell is dark. Not dark like Pixar – dark like Animal Farm. With a childlike style the movie explores the cruelty of nature.
Chirin’s mother warns him about the wolf. Chirin must never cross their pasture’s fence, for the wolf would gobble up a little lamb like him. True to his promise, Chirin stays within the pasture, but for nothing. The wolf breaks into their barn at night, slaughtering Chirin’s mother, before stealing away. Chirin vows he will train under the wolf, so, one day, he may escape the law of nature which decrees lambs must die.