Is the Wolf in The Mother Real or CGI? What Does It Signify?

Netflix’s ‘The Mother’ is an action drama movie starring actress Jennifer Lopez as the titular character, a highly skilled female assassin’s quest to protect her estranged daughter from enemies connected to her past. In the film, The Mother and her daughter, Zoe, encounter a mother wolf and cubs several times. As a result, viewers must be wondering if the wolves are real or CGI creations in ‘The Mother.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Wolf in The Mother is Not Real

In ‘The Mother,’ the titular character, an unnamed female assassin referred to as “The Mother,” is forced to give up her daughter. After relinquishing her parental rights, The Mother moves to Alaska to start a new life. She works as a hunter for hire with help from her old friend, Jons. While working as a hunter, we see The Mother coming across a giant and majestic wolf. Initially, The Mother considers hunting the wolf before she realizes that the wolf is a mother just like herself. The wolf also has three young offspring it protects and provides for. The wolf becomes a recurring motif as the narrative progresses and appears several times, adding to the film’s themes and narrative threads.

In the film, the wolf and its offspring are not real creatures. They are almost certainly created with the use of CGI. Wolves can be hostile creatures and are extremely difficult to train. As a result, it is safe to say real wolves were not used during the filming of ‘The Mother.’ According to the movie’s credits, animal trainers were involved in the production. Hence, it is likely that dogs of the Husky breed, which loosely resemble wolves, were used for on-set principal photography. During post-production, the visual effects team seemingly accentuated the features of the dogs and puppies to make them appear like wolves. As a result, the Mother Wolf is created using a combination of practical and visual effects.

The Wolf Signifies a Mother’s Strength

As mentioned above, the Mother Wolf is a recurring motif in ‘The Mother.’ The Mother Wolf first appears shortly before The Mother learns her estranged daughter’s life is in danger. Later, when The Mother is forced to bring her daughter, Zoe, to Alaska, the Mother Wolf appears more frequently alongside its cubs. In one scene, we see Zoe playing with cubs before The Mother warns her about the dangers of the wilderness and is forced to fend off the Mother Wolf. Towards the film’s end, The Mother and Zoe discover the Mother Wolf is suffering from an injury. The Mother explains the wolf’s cubs will be forced to fend for themselves and survive if their mother dies because of the injury.

During the climax, The Mother is gravely injured but musters the courage to fight and save Zoe after seeing the Mother Wolf alive. Ultimately, the Mother Wolf represents The Mother’s own quest to protect her child. Similar to the wolf, The Mother also fights for her child and nearly dies in the process. However, both mothers do not stop in the face of adversity and overcome their wounds to save their children. Moreover, the wolf motif also seems to foreshadow the movie’s climax and denotes the brutal and wild lengths The Mother is willing to go to protect her daughter. Hence, the wolf symbolizes the inner strength and courage The Mother unearths when her child’s life is in danger.

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