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My Little Goat is a 2018 Stop Motion animated short from director Tomoki Misato, produced by the Tokyo University of the Arts.

A dark fantasy inspired by Grimm Fairy Tales, it is a modern retelling of The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids.

Mother Goat rescues her little goats from a wolf's belly. But her eldest son, Toruku, is missing! One day Mother Goat brings "Toruku" back home, and the little boy has to confront his own fears as well as the disfigured bodies of his brothers and sisters. As the wolf once again approaches, secrets of Toruku's absence come to light as the flock fights for survival.

What is revealed in the subversive narrative is a tragic, yet heartwarming story about a mother and her children dealing with, and recovering from, predatory abuse.

The short can be watched here on Misato's YouTube channel.

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This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The goat kids use Mother's broom as a primitive door bolt. Natsuki loosens it, allowing his molesting father entry. In the end the children use many more wooden bolts to keep out intruders.
  • Abusive Parents: Natsuki's father, of one of the worst kind; he seems relieved to have found Natsuki at first, but it's quickly revealed that he intends to molest Natsuki and it's implied that he's done it before. He even turns into a wolf to symbolize how he's giving in to his darkest urges.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not entirely clear whether or not Mother Goat knew from the beginning that Natsuki wasn't really her oldest son Toruku:
    • It could have been a case of Mistaken Identity because of the goat-eared hood Natsuki wears, since the hood makes him resemble her children.
    • She could be deeply in denial about Toruku's death, since she insists on calling Natsuki by a different name and says she'd been looking everywhere for "Toruku" even though the beginning shows Toruku was already digested before she could save him.
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    • Or, she had intentionally rescued the human child from his depraved biological father (not that hiding the boy in the forest discouraged him any). She may have given Natsuki the woolen coat he wears to help him cope with being molested or to disguise him (or both). In either case the goat kids accept him as their big brother Toruku without question knowing their mother would be angry otherwise, though eldest daughter Lecon immediately suspects that Natsuki isn't who Mother Goat says he is.note 
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Natsuki is introduced wearing a wool hood with goat ears on it, which makes him resemble Mother Goat's children despite being human. He later gives it to Lecon so it covers up her badly scarred body. By the end of the story, Mother Goat's children are all wearing different animal-eared hoods to show that they're slowly healing from their trauma.
  • Animal Species Accent: The kids tend to baa in their speech.
  • Appropriate Animal Attire: Mother goat is fully dressed but the goat children don't wear any clothes. Even when they get their cloaks at the end, they still go bottomless.
  • Arcadia: The goat family home is an interesting amalgamation of forest meadow and garden shed.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: It's a stop-motion short with adorable characters made from felt, but it also has some dark and disturbing imagery. The very first scene shows Mother Goat cutting open a wolf's stomach and pulling out her children, who are covered in stomach acid; most of the little goats are later shown to have been scarred and disfigured by it. It also deals with the very mature subject of child abuse, both physical and sexual.
  • Attempted Rape: Natsuki is nearly raped by his own father right in the middle of the goat family's house. Natsuki's father shrugs off the goat children's attempts to fight him and even strips off all of Natsuki's clothes, but luckily Mother Goat arrives just in time to use a taser on him before things get worse.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Mother Goat is a very beautiful and lovable young mother with a big heart. After the events of the original story, she decides to become much more cautious of any potential danger with her children and any child in general. She carries a taser in the same bag as she puts in strawberries and any food for her children. Even as she's tasering Natsuki's father, she manages to look elegant while doing it. Near the end of the short, she is seen carrying a bear trap to prevent any wolf or pedophile from interfering with her children ever again.
    • The goat kids, despite being half mutilated and traumatized by the events of the original story, still have their cute looks. While they're small and cute, they're still willing to fight Natsuki's father even if it's very short-lived. They're even somehow able to become a much taller goat simply by stacking themselves on top of each other.
  • Bait-and-Switch: What seems to be a story about a mother driven to desperation and possibly even madness by grief abducting a child (possibly accidentally) to replace the one she lost ends up being about recovering from trauma, learning to trust and love again, and learning what really makes someone a monster.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: When Natsuki is stripped naked from his father, he isn't depicted with any genitalia. Probably for the best to avoid the short from reaching much darker territory.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mother Goat saves Natsuki and the goat children from his own father by tasering him.
  • Big Eater: The wolf in the prologue devours six of Mother Goat's seven little kids. The eldest Toruku, tragically doesn't survive.
  • Cartoony Eyes: Zigzagged with the goats; their eyes have visible sclerae like human eyes do, but their pupils are rectangular like real goats' pupils.
  • Crazy-Prepared: After the events of the original story, Mother Goat decides to put a taser into her bag as she's heading off to get some strawberries. At the end of the short, she's seen carrying a bear trap as she leaves the house again.
  • Combining Mecha: In an effort to fight off Natsuki's dad, the six little kids form one, with the eldest sister making up their head. They are overpowered, but it does buy precious time for Mother Goat to return.
  • Cooldown Hug:
    • Natsuki is distrustful of Mother Goat and tries to leave until she lovingly embraces him.
    • Near the end of the short, after Mother Goat tasers Natsuki's father who is seconds away from raping him. She immediately gives Natsuki a very warm and comforting hug. Natsuki hugs her back as he starts crying, which is followed by the six goat children all hugging their mother and Natsuki.
  • Cry into Chest: Seconds after Mother Goat saves Natsuki from his father. She drops to her knees to hug and comfort him. Natsuki is still visibly stunned but is instantly heard crying into her chest out of relief, pain, sadness, and fear. As he's crying, he's able to finally let out all the emotional turmoil and trauma he's experienced and hadn't felt this amount of genuine love since his own mother who is implied to be dead. Even more touching is that the area where Natsuki's crying into her chest appears to be where her heart is located at.
  • Dead Hat Shot: The final scene of the short is a shot of one of Natsuki's father's shoes floating in the river near the goats' home.
  • Death by Adaptation: The What If? question of the animation. The eldest of the goat kids from the classic fairytale, has died before Mother Goat can come to the rescue.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Natsuki is frozen with fear and fails to heed Jog's warnings to hide from what appears to be the wolf at their door.
  • Disappeared Dad: There's no sign of a Father Goat, leaving the children vulnerable on their own when their mother has to head out. Like the original story, it's implied that her husband passed away at an unknown period.
  • Disapproving Look: The youngest goat kid Nono gives this to Natsuki, who wanted to escape and traumatized Lecon by accident.
  • The Dividual: Lecon, Nono and Mell speak for themselves, but it's not easy to distinguish some of the cute Goat siblings apart from each other in the animation short, especially as their injuries begin healing in the ending and all wearing animal-themed coats. They are all named in the credits and Word of God provided the reference.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Mother Goat's children stand up to the The Big Bad Wolf, but not the same wolf you're thinking of.
  • Domestic Abuse: One of every parent's worst nightmare, to find their children are the victims of abuse. Mother Goat comes home to find her children were eaten by a wolf, one of them died and later, when Natsuki's dad eventually tracks down where his son is, as it's soon revealed that he intends to molest Natsuki.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The six goat kids wisely prevent Natsuki from leaving their home in Mother's absence.
  • Dramatic Drop: When Mother Goat returns home from picking strawberries, she's shocked as she witnesses her children getting thrown across the room, and especially seeing Natsuki's father preparing to rape his son by ripping of his clothes. She reacts by dropping her bag containing five strawberries and a taser off-screen.
  • Eye Cam: At the climax of the film, we get a 10 second shot from the Mother Goat's perspective showing her reaction to Natsuki's father molesting his son and her children being thrown across the room and injured. Her shadow is also shown and the bag containing strawberries and a taser.
  • Facial Horror: The poor goat children (save Nono who was undetected) all are scarred from their sojourn in the wolf's belly. Eldest daughter Lecon suffered the worst of this (not counting Toruku who died), as her left eye is damaged along with having a missing left hoof, horn, and most her wool burned off (Jog escaped with minimum injury). By the short's ending with new animal coats Mother made for them, the children no longer feel ashamed of themselves for being victims of abuse, their injuries healing. Lecon's and Cocoa's damaged left eyes have recovered to merely being lazy eyes, and don't allow what the wolf did to define them.
  • Fashion Magazine: Mother Goat has a few of these lying around her home. Appropriate, considering she made all the coats for her children.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Natsuki gives Lecon his cloak, she discovers that he has bruises all over his arms. This sets up the reveal that Natsuki's just as hurt as the goat children, physically and emotionally due to his father's abuse.
    • The kids hear ominous footsteps approaching the house, which they take as another wolf coming to eat them. It turns out not to be a wolf, and he's not interested in the goats; to Natsuki, however, he's just as dangerous as any wolf would ever be.
  • Friend to All Children: Like the original story, Mother Goat is a very kind-hearted and caring person. While Natsuki at first doesn't trust her due to living with a pedophilic father. He starts showing signs of truly loving her after she gives him a hug in the beginning of the short. After Natsuki comforts Lecon, expressing sympathy to the other children, and Mother Goat rescuing him from his father. She fully wins Natsuki's trust and becomes a new member to the family.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Horrifyingly and realistically averted, unlike the original story which played the trope straight. While most of the goat kids were saved from being eaten alive by the wolf and almost digested, they all have various injuries and trauma from the experience, only surviving at all thanks to their mother's intervention. The acid burns take the course of the animated film to slowly heal from. Toruku, who was eaten first, was already dead and gone by the time rescue came.
  • The Ghost: The eldest son Toruku is frequently mentioned but never seen, as he died before the short's beginning. Natsuki is taking their place in the goat family.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Mother Goat is a kind considerate soul, but she is a mother who won't hesitate to destroy anyone who threatens her family. See Mama Bear.
  • Grimmification: This short is a much darker and realistic take on "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids", since it takes place after the events of the story while showing how being eaten alive by a wolf has physically and emotionally scarred the young goats. Unlike other darker takes on fairy tales, this has a much happier and uplifting ending.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: The Mother Goat cuts the Big Bad Wolf open with her scissors. She later does the same to Natsuki's father to fill his torso with rocks before throwing his corpse into the river.
  • Happily Adopted: Mother Goat dearly loves Natsuki as her own son, naming him Toruku after her deceased first-born, and possibly gifting him with a woolen coat so his siblings would accept him as their elder brother without question. Natsuki, however, is frightened by the strange new house and initially wants nothing to do with the family, at least until he begins empathizing with their anxieties and the goat children stand up for him against his father.
  • Happily Ever After: The six kids' wounds are healing, and all had new animal-themed coats to show off. Natsuki accepts they are his true family. Mother Goat personally takes steps to ensure The Big Bad Wolf or any wolf will never darken their door again.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Lecon the eldest daughter doesn't miss the smallest detail, from realizing the child Mother calls "Toruku" can't possibly be her elder brother as his woollen coat is pristine, to immediately later noticing Natsuki is a victim of abuse by his arms alone.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Mother Goat brings Natsuki, a human boy, to her home, though she insists on calling him "Toruku" after her deceased first-born son. By the end of the short, Natsuki has come to accept the goats as his new family.
  • Ironic Echo: Both Mother Goat and Natsuki's father ask where Natsuki has been and say that they were worried about him. The difference is, Mother Goat cares for Natsuki even if she calls him by a different name; Natsuki's dad, not so much.
  • I Want My Mommy!: As Natsuki's father starts molesting his son and prepares to rape him. Natsuki is heard yelling "Mama" as his father starts ripping of his clothing. Thankfully, Mother Goat was right behind Natsuki's father when he begins yelling "Mama" which causes her to act quick before it's too late.
  • Jerkass Realization: Aware he inadvertently caused the eldest daughter Lecon to relive her trauma, Natsuki, instead of leaving, gives her his wooly coat that she remarked earlier was beautiful.
  • Karmic Death: Both The Big Bad Wolf and Natsuki's depraved father are slain by Mother Goat for preying on her family.
  • Knight Templar Parent: At the ending Mother Goat is seen carrying a bear trap to catch and kill any wolves or pedophiles, that dare enter the forest, to protect her children. Police helicopters can even be heard unsuccessfully trying to locate the whereabouts of Natsuki's father.
  • Mama Bear: Be you man or beast, do NOT EVER harm Mother Goat's beloved children. She will straight up end you. In this adaptation she not only murders the wolf, and kills Natsuki's wicked father, disposing of his body in the river but carries a bear trap in the ending to catch and slay many more wolves, to make the forest safe for her little ones.
  • Mirror Character: Natsuki realizes Lecon is this to him - both are physically and emotionally scarred trauma victims.
  • Mirror Scare: The eldest daughter, Lecon, gets an absolutely heart-wrenching scare from the sight of her own burned and scarred reflection when Natsuki accidentally flips the mirror over in his escape attempt. At first she screams thinking she's seeing a monster, but she quickly breaks down into slobbering tears realizing the "monster" is her own disfigured body.
  • Missing Mom: Natsuki's father's phone has a picture of the boy and a woman who is presumably his mother, though it's implied she's deceased leaving him prey to his abusive father.
  • Mustache Vandalism: The Wolf's head on the goat kids' reading book is scribbled over with a crudely-drawn dagger. It's unclear whether Mother Goat or her children did this after the attack.
  • My Beloved Smother: Mother Goat leaves sticky notes around the house instructing the children what not to play with.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Natsuki steps on a "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids" reading book, the illustrations appear to reference the version from publishers Saori Yuki & Sachiko Yasuda (this particular Grimm Fairy Tale is popular in Japan).
    • When the wolf seems to arrive again, Nono (the youngest brother, who supposedly survived the attack of the original wolf) hides inside the grandfather clock, just like the youngest kid did in the original story.
    • The climax of the short mirrors the original tale in one key way—just as the Wolf disguises his voice and appearance to make himself come off as the goats' harmless mother, Natsuki's father plays the role of a concerned parent to let their guard down so he can collect Natsuki, but he transforms into a wolf once his true intentions are made clear.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: The goat kids all hide from what seems to be the wolf coming. Some of them have excelled at hiding so well they even turn into jam jars or portraits on the wall!
  • No Name Given: Apart from the eldest son Toruku, none of the other little Goat kids seem to have names in the story, yet the credits reveal all of are named, except for Mother Goat herself and Natsuki's father.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: During the end credits, heavy breathing in the distance as it's being played over by a peaceful and relaxing song performed on a piano.
  • Papa Wolf: Subverted. At first impression it appears as though Natsuki's dad loves his son, searching everywhere for him when he disappeared. Unlike Mother Goat, his however is a warped and twisted love, to say the least.
  • Parental Incest: The big twist of the short. Natsuki's father finds Natsuki and at first seems relieved that his son is alright, but it's quickly revealed that his love for Natsuki isn't a purely parental one and he attempts to molest Natsuki right in the middle of Mother Goat's house. It's heavily implied that he's done so before, too.
  • Parents as People: Mother Goat is a doting protective parent, but she cannot be everywhere at once, leaving them vulnerable when she has to go out shopping for her children. She also may or may not be in denial about Toruku's death, which might be why she insists on calling Natsuki "Toruku" even though he's wary of her at first.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The goat kids are quite strong, each being able to overpower Natsuki who tried to leave and formed a Combining Mecha to fight off his predator father.
  • Police Are Useless: In the ending police helicopters can be heard unsuccessfully trying to locate the remains of Natsuki's father, oblivious to what transpired earlier.
  • The Power of Family: The children all lovingly embrace Mother Goat after she defeats Natsuki's father.
  • Properly Paranoid: Subverted. Lecon was right to suspect Natsuki wasn't her elder brother, but misguided in the belief he was yet another trick of the Wolf.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mother Goat's children, and Natsuki as well with his wooly coat, are just adorable little fluff ball angels.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The coats Mother Goat made for the children are a reference to either masking or overcoming their trauma and that they no longer feel pain or disgust about themselves. In the former's case it was because eldest sister couldn't understand how Natsuki's wool looked so beautiful; in fact, they were abused and she later saw how scarred and bruised his body really was.
    • The obvious one in the climax, Natsuki's father turning into a wolf as he molests him, is one indicating that the man is just as dangerous and abusive as the Big Bad Wolf the goats previously encountered despite looking meek and normal. This is especially apparent with how he changes from wolf to human and back again whenever the camera cuts away and then back to him.
  • Scary Symbolic Shapeshifting: Natsuki's father turns into a wolf from the goat kids' POV as he molests him, symbolizing how he's a predator like the wolf that ate the kids before their mother rescued them (except for Toroku, who was fully digested when she cut open its stomach).
  • Static Stun Gun: Mother Goat carries a taser and arrives just in time to protect Natsuki from Attempted Rape by his father, subduing him.
  • Thicker Than Water: Lecon refuses to let her suspicions about Natsuki go, pointing out if he was really Toruku, he wouldn't be trying to run away from their family.
  • Time Skip: From when Mother Goat cannot find her firstborn child Toruku, to walking home Natsuki.
  • Tranquil Fury: While Mother Goat is never shown angry in the entire film. She is disturbed as she witnesses Natsuki's intruding father preparing to rape his own son, and thrown her children across her house. She lacks any emotion as she disposes of the wicked man's body in the river.
  • The Voiceless: Natsuki is the only character who doesn't speak...at least until his father tries to molest him, which makes him call out "Mama!" three times in desperation.
  • Wham Line: It's not what he says that's the problem, it's what he doesn't say. Natsuki's father, after hugging him, holds him tighter as he pants lustfully in his ear, indicating that this father is not just looking for his son because of parental affection...
  • What If?: The premise of the short: What if Mother Goat couldn't find all of her children? While there were humans in the original story, Natsuki and his depraved dad are both Canon Foreigners to the tale.
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Horrified that Natsuki's abusive father intends to rape him yet again, the goat children baa angrily at him before attacking.
  • Your Favorite: Mother Goat insists on getting Natsuki strawberries as they were Toruku's favourite.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Like in the original fairy tale, Nono avoids the wolf's detection by hiding in the grandfather clock. Subverted later, when he's the first to get knocked out by Natsuki's evil pedophile father.

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