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a little forest

K-Movie Spotlight: “Little Forest” Sketches A Poignant Tale About Getting Lost and Getting Found

Little forest  overflows with lessons about the essential things that spark unadulterated joy and inspiration to living..

little forest

Title: Little Forest Production Company: Watermelon Picture | Megabox Plus M Themes: Personal Healing, Friendship Length: 103 Minutes Release Date: 28 February 2018 Main Leads: Kim Tae Ri | Ryu Jun Yeol | Moon So Ri | Jin Ki Joo Highlights: Healing Power Of Nature | Value Of Friendship  | Self Love Overall Rating: Re-Watch Value: Related Film/ Dramas: When The Weather Is Fine | Chocolate

This wonderful 2018 slice-of-life film is a delight to viewers with its light, heartwarming depiction of a contemplative life in a quiet countryside village.

Quick Plot Round-Up

little forest

Immersing Into The Quiet Country Life

little forest

The small town seems to take her back with open arms as she drifts into its laid-back relaxed charm. Together with Eun Sook and Jae Ha, Hye Won obliviously adapted into the simplicity and quietness of the country life. She diligently engages herself into farming activities as she enjoys the bounty of nature.

little forest

Those memories of her mother are something she cannot seem to shrug off. Flashback scenes randomly come flooding her vision – those mundane moments she shared with her mother when they bonded over preparing delightfully appetizing meals.

little forest

Character Review

Hye won (kim tae ri).

little forest

The story’s protagonist is a young adult caught in the crossroads of life. She is a beautiful character to watch with so many things to teach us with her flaws as a human.

Her father died when she was young. Her mother, whom she loved so much, left her for reasons unknown to her. She lives in solitude for the most part of her life enduring emotional battles alone. Hye Won is a sum of all tribulations caused by resentment, frustration and confusion.

As burdened as she may be, she is just as resilient and uncomplaining as much. She wanted to break free from the vicious cycle of a hollow life. With a leap of faith, she fearlessly left everything and set off somewhere else where she could heal.

Lee Jae Ha (Ryu Jun Yeol)

little forest

Jae Ha breaks the stereotypical image of farmer. Wise beyond his age, he has developed into a profound and philosophical person. He tried his luck in Seoul and found himself working in a big company. He worked as a corporate employee, but it seems meaningless to him.

Joo Eun Sook (Jin Ki Joo)

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Eun Sook has lived in their small town all her life. She works as a dissatisfied bank employee and longs to escape the tacky life in the town village.

Hye Won’s Mother (Moon So Ri)

little forest

Although she was sparingly shown in the film through flashbacks, she portrayed the character of a loving mom who took life’s adversities with a positive and strong resolve.

She, too, had her share of inner longing to pursue an unfulfilled purpose in life. Without any elaborate depiction, it seems that she her sudden disappearance is to find her own place, in a figurative sense.

Journey To Personal Healing

little forest

We live in a harsh world which will never stop for us even when we are knocked down by setbacks in life. This film is a wonderful gift for people who are hounded by their bitter past, hammered by the series of travails and devoured by the anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the future. It invites us to take a step back, listen and reflect upon the silent voice inside us.

Hye Won understood her need for emotional clarity and some closures for the things that still haunt her. And it started by acknowledging her pain. With it came the courage to leave behind the things that weigh her down. Slowly, she was able to re-build her life with a shift in her life priorities.

And only after finally being healed that she was able to understand and graciously forgive her mother. As she emptied her heart from the grudge that had consumed her for a long time, she sincerely prayed for her mother’s healing too.

Value Of Friendship

little forest

The friendship Hye Won forged with Jae Ha and Eun Sook over time has filled in the huge void in her life and has helped her to look at the world with fresh eyes. The warm and welcoming company they gave her is comforting and reassuring enough for her to realize that material things take a backseat when it comes to real happiness. It is the intangible things that make one essentially rich in every sense.

Food For The Soul

little forest

Life in the big city has been too much for Hye Won. Its grim mundanity has left her hungry both literally and figuratively. Seoul has nothing but bland, manufactured food to offer leaving her always empty. In a deeper sense, city life has left Hye Won aching for something that would feed her soul.

As she moved back to her hometown, she gained a renewed vigor through the art of food-making. Her love for food has always been there, waiting to be explored. And it’s something she has to thank her mother and nature for.

little forest

Hye Won discovered how nature has its way of clearing away her weariness and allowing her to appreciate life with wild abandon. She basks in its beauty – serene and peaceful, as if speaking to her in a unique language that goes deep enough to heal her wounds.

Little Forest Afterthoughts

Little Forest brims with so many life lessons through its simple storytelling. It is the kind of contemplative story that will tug at your heartstrings with its subtly dramatic narrative with deep character study.  The film offers poignant points about healing and enlightenment.

The story’s heroine is a perfect depiction of a character overwhelmed with disappointments and frustrations over uncontrollable things. Yet she gained more than what she lost by embracing her innate passion- food and nature.

Its cinematography remarkably highlights the beauty of nature. Nature, indeed, has its unique healing power that immensely impacts humans and every relationship dynamics.

Takeaways…

The film’s message is simple – the simplest and most essential things in the world  are the ones that bring genuine happiness to us. It’s not the prestige of one’s job nor the amount of money in every paycheck. Rather, it is by being true to one’s nature and listening to the silent voice in one’s heart that one can see the profound fulfillment in life.

Indeed, food and nature beautifully wrapped the film in metaphors. It teaches us that all good things take time to cultivate.

Moreover,  Little Forest teaches us that its okay to feel lost sometimes. It is our ardent desire to find ourselves and be at peace with it that matters.

Little Forest is our story too. Most of us are lost and have become jaded due to the demands of the world. Yet, just like Hye Won, a heroine in her own emotional battle, we too can eventually come to terms with a painful yesterday, uncontrolled circumstances or anything that is weighing us down.

After all, in the greater scheme of things, being is more important than having. May we also find our own little forest that will bring us deeper appreciation of life.

Watch Little Forest’s Trailer:

Image credits: Megabox Plus M

Streaming Platform: Viu

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Tiny Forests With Big Benefits

Native plants crowded onto postage-stamp-size plots have been delivering environmental benefits around the world — and, increasingly, in the U.S.

An aerial view of a tiny forest — a jam-packed cluster of green trees — in the middle of a grassy field.

By Cara Buckley

The tiny forest lives atop an old landfill in the city of Cambridge, Mass. Though it is still a baby, it’s already acting quite a bit older than its actual age, which is just shy of 2.

Its aspens are growing at twice the speed normally expected, with fragrant sumac and tulip trees racing to catch up. It has absorbed storm water without washing out, suppressed many weeds and stayed lush throughout last year’s drought. The little forest managed all this because of its enriched soil and density, and despite its diminutive size: 1,400 native shrubs and saplings, thriving in an area roughly the size of a basketball court.

It is part of a sweeping movement that is transforming dusty highway shoulders, parking lots, schoolyards and junkyards worldwide. Tiny forests have been planted across Europe, in Africa, throughout Asia and in South America, Russia and the Middle East. India has hundreds, and Japan, where it all began, has thousands.

Now tiny forests are slowly but steadily appearing in the United States. In recent years, they’ve been planted alongside a corrections facility on the Yakama reservation in Washington, in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park and in Cambridge, where the forest is one of the first of its kind in the Northeast.

“It’s just phenomenal,” said Andrew Putnam, superintendent of urban forestry and landscapes for the city of Cambridge, on a recent visit to the forest, which was planted in the fall of 2021 in Danehy Park, a green space built atop the former city landfill. As dragonflies and white butterflies floated about, Mr. Putnam noted that within a few years, many of the now 14-foot saplings would be as tall as telephone poles and the forest would be self-sufficient.

Healthy woodlands absorb carbon dioxide, clean the air and provide for wildlife. But these tiny forests promise even more.

They can grow as quickly as ten times the speed of conventional tree plantations, enabling them to support more birds, animals and insects, and to sequester more carbon, while requiring no weeding or watering after the first three years, their creators said.

Perhaps more important for urban areas, tiny forests can help lower temperatures in places where pavement, buildings and concrete surfaces absorb and retain heat from the sun.

“This isn’t just a simple tree-planting method,” said Katherine Pakradouni, a native plant horticulturist who oversaw the forest planting in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park. “This is about a whole system of ecology that supports all manner of life, both above and below ground.”

The Griffith Park forest occupies 1,000 square feet, and has drawn all manner of insects, lizards, birds and ground squirrels, along with western toads that journeyed from the Los Angeles River, Ms. Pakradouni said. To get to the forest, the toads had to clamber up a concrete embankment, traverse a bike trail, venture down another dirt embankment and cross a horse trail.

“It has all the food they need to survive and reproduce, and the shelter they need as a refuge,” Ms. Pakradouni said. “We need habitat refuges, and even a tiny one can, in a year, be life or death for an entire species.”

Known variously as tiny forests, mini forests, pocket forests and, in the United Kingdom, “wee” forests, they trace their lineage to the Japanese botanist and plant ecologist Akira Miyawaki, who in 2006 won the Blue Planet Prize, considered the environmental equivalent of a Nobel award, for his method of creating fast-growing native forests.

Dr. Miyawaki, who died in 2021 at the age of 93, developed his technique in the 1970s, after observing that thickets of indigenous trees around Japan’s temples and shrines were healthier and more resilient than those in single-crop plantations or forests grown in the aftermath of logging. He wanted to protect old-growth forests and encourage the planting of native species, arguing that they provided vital resilience amid climate change, while also reconnecting people with nature.

“The forest is the root of all life; it is the womb that revives our biological instincts, that deepens our intelligence and increases our sensitivity as human beings,” he wrote.

Dr. Miyawaki’s prescription involves intense soil restoration and planting many native flora close together. Multiple layers are sown — from shrub to canopy — in a dense arrangement of about three to five plantings per square meter. The plants compete for resources as they race toward the sun, while underground bacteria and fungal communities thrive. Where a natural forest could take at least a century to mature, Miyawaki forests take just a few decades, proponents say.

Crucially, the method requires that local residents do the planting, in order to forge connections with young woodlands. In Cambridge, where a second tiny forest , less than half the size of the first one, was planted in late 2022, Mr. Putnam said residents had embraced the small forest with fervor. A third forest is in the works, he said, and all three were planned and organized in conjunction with the non-profit B iodiversity for a Livable Climate .

“This has by far and away gotten the most positive feedback from the public and residents than we’ve had for any project, and we do a lot,” Mr. Putnam said.

Still, there are skeptics. Because a Miyawaki forest requires intense site and soil preparation, and exact sourcing of many native plants, it can be expensive. The Danehy Park forest cost $18,000 for the plants and soil amendments, Mr. Putnam said, while the pocket forest company, SUGi, covered the forest creators’ consulting fees of roughly $9,500. By way of comparison, a Cambridge street tree costs $1,800.

“A massive impact for a pretty small dollar amount in the grand scheme of the urban forestry program,” Mr. Putnam said.

Doug Tallamy, an American entomologist and author of “Nature’s Best Hope,” said that while he applauded efforts to restore degraded habitat, particularly in urban areas, many of the plants would eventually get crowded out and die. Better to plant fewer and save more, he said.

“I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on it, the concept is great, and we have to put the plants back in the ground,” Dr. Tallamy said. “But the ecological concept of a tiny forest packed with dozens of species doesn’t make any sense.”

Kazue Fujiwara, a longtime Miyawaki collaborator at Yokohama National University, said survival rates are between 85 and 90 percent in the first three years, and then, as the canopy grows, drop to 45 percent after 20 years, with dead trees falling and feeding the soil. The initial density is crucial to stimulating rapid growth, said Hannah Lewis, the author of “Mini-Forest Revolution.” It quickly creates a canopy that shades out weeds, and shelters the microclimate underneath from wind and direct sun, she said.

Throughout his life, Dr. Miyawaki planted forests at industrial sites globally, including at an automotive parts plant in southern Indiana. A turning point came when an engineer named Shubhendu Sharma took part in a Miyawaki planting in India. Enthralled, Mr. Sharma turned his own backyard into a mini-forest, started a planting company called Afforestt, and, in 2014, delivered a TED Talk that, along with a 2016 follow up, ended up drawing millions of views.

Around the world, conservationists took notice.

In the Netherlands, Daan Bleichrodt, an environmental educator, plants tiny forests to bring nature closer to urban dwellers, especially city children. In 2015, he spearheaded the country’s first Miyawaki forest, in a community north of Amsterdam, and has overseen the planting of nearly 200 forests since.

Four years later, Elise van Middelem started SUGi, which has planted more than 160 pocket forests worldwide. The company’s first forest was planted on a dumping ground alongside the Beirut River in Lebanon; others were sown later near a power plant in the country’s most polluted city, and in several playgrounds badly damaged by the 2020 blast at Beirut’s port.

And Earthwatch Europe, an environmental nonprofit, has planted more than 200 forests , most of them the size of a tennis court, throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe in the last three years.

Though many of the forests are still very young, their creators say there have already been outsize benefits.

The woodlands in Lebanon have drawn lizards, geckos, birds and tons of insects and fungi, according to Adib Dada, an architect and environmentalist and the main forest creator there. In the West African country of Cameroon, where eight Miyawaki forests have been planted since 2019, there are improved groundwater conditions and higher water tables around the forest sites, according to Limbi Blessing Tata, who has led the reforestation there. Crabs and frogs have also returned, she said, along with birds that were thought to be extinct.

According to Mr. Bleichrodt, a 2021 university study of 11 Dutch mini-forests found over 1,100 types of plants and animals at the sites — kingfishers, foxes, hedgehogs, spider beetles, ants, earthworms and wood lice.

“A Miyawaki forest may be like a drop of rain falling into the ocean,” Dr. Fujiwara wrote in an email, “but if Miyawaki forests regenerated urban deserts and degraded areas around the world it will create a river.”

“Doing nothing,” she added, “is the most pointless thing.”

Cara Buckely is a reporter on the climate team at The Times who focuses on people working toward climate solutions. More about Cara Buckley

Learn More About Climate Change

Have questions about climate change? Our F.A.Q. will tackle your climate questions, big and small .

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Carbon-free electricity has never been more plentiful, but it hasn’t yet been enough to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We looked at how electricity generation has changed over time to help you understand today’s global picture .

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Little Forest: Winter/Spring

Ai Hashimoto in Little Forest: Winter/Spring (2015)

Ichiko lived in a big city, but goes back to her small hometown Komori, located on a mountain in the Tohoku region. She is self-sufficient. Ichiko gains energy living among nature and eating... Read all Ichiko lived in a big city, but goes back to her small hometown Komori, located on a mountain in the Tohoku region. She is self-sufficient. Ichiko gains energy living among nature and eating foods she makes from seasonal ingredients. Ichiko lived in a big city, but goes back to her small hometown Komori, located on a mountain in the Tohoku region. She is self-sufficient. Ichiko gains energy living among nature and eating foods she makes from seasonal ingredients.

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Little Forest: Summer/Autumn

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  • Trivia Based on popular manga series "Ritoru Foresuto" written & illustrated by Daisuke Igarashi (published in Monthly Afternoon from December, 2002 - July, 2005).
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a little forest

How the budget fight in Congress threatens federal wildland firefighters’ pay

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In June, wildland firefighter Daniel Uphues was out with a U.S. Forest Service crew “mopping up” after a burn in western Washington. That’s wildland fire speak for digging up and extinguishing any material that’s still smoldering in the aftermath of a fire. 

“People were thinking, ‘It’s getting a little windy. I don’t know if we should be here,’” he said.

Wind speeds never topped 10 mph; that was the threshold for when his crew boss would pull them off the fire line, Uphues said. But things still got dangerous. 

“You hear the creaking and popping of a tree falling. Everyone starts yelling, trying to give indications of where the tree is falling,” he said. 

Uphues said the top half of what he guesses was a 120-foot-tall red cedar crashed to the ground some 30 feet from his crew.

After the shock wore off, he was mad. Uphues and his colleagues were risking their lives for wages that they probably could have been making in fast food or retail . 

“There were a lot of those comments at that specific moment. And I think about that a lot, actually,” he said. 

Federal wildland firefighters protect ecosystems and communities from the impacts of increasingly frequent and destructive wildfires on public lands. Historically, they haven’t been paid much for that vital and dangerous work. Rookie federal firefighters can make as little as $15 an hour . In 2021, they all got a raise from the Inflation Reduction Act of 50% of their base salary, or an extra $20,000 a year. 

For Daniel Uphues, that was a big deal. It brought his base salary from just $15.50 to $22 an hour, which — after working as many as 800 hours of overtime per season — nets him between $55,000 and $60,000 a year. That’s helped Uphues pay off student loans from his bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish, and put more away in savings. 

“You can feel the difference, for sure,” he said. 

A firefighter sprays water on brush.

Low pay and longer seasons for federal firefighters

Federal funding for that pay bump ran out last September. Congress has extended firefighters’ higher salaries temporarily three times this budget cycle in continuing resolutions. A permanent fix has bipartisan support , but it’s tied up in the larger congressional budget showdown. And after repeated delays, firefighters will believe it when they see it. 

“There are other people [I work with] that have talked about, you know, maybe going into a state agency,” Uphues said. 

A state agency like California’s can pay firefighters double what they make with the U.S. Forest Service . Same with some private or city-run fire departments. And the more times Congress punts on federal firefighter pay, the better those jobs start to look to frustrated workers . 

“Most folks are on really thin ice,” said Kelly Martin, who heads up the International Association of Wildland Fire . 

She said the uncertainty has experienced firefighters especially fed up, since they have the most to gain by moving on. 

“There’s just such a tremendous loss of experience and qualifications when individuals can’t pencil it out anymore,” she said. 

With climate change and megadrought making wildfires more intense , Martin said containing them has become more complex. And without veteran firefighters, she said crews lose the skills and capacity needed to protect lives, ecosystems and property. 

More frequent fires and a lengthening wildfire season are also changing the profession, according to Michael Wara, a climate policy expert at Stanford University.

“It’s kind of raised the tempo of activity,” he said. That means firefighters work longer seasons and may be exposed to dangerous conditions for longer. “And that wears people down. They really need the off-season to recover physically and mentally.” 

When the pay is lower, many firefighters work another job in the winter to supplement their income instead of taking time off. Wara said inaction from Congress gives federal firefighters the sense that they’re not a priority . 

“It’s corrosive,” he said. “And sooner or later, those people tend to go where they feel valued.” 

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter crew walks in line on a road in a smokey forest setting.

“You can only get paid in sunsets so many times”

In Northern Michigan, Warner Vanderheuel worries a wave of resignations could be coming for his crews ahead of fire season. 

“Well, I can’t afford anybody to leave right now,” Vanderheuel said. 

On top of his day job as a battalion chief with the Forest Service, Vanderheuel is general vice president of the National Federation of Federal Employees Forest Service Council . Since this pay discussion started in earnest back in September, he reported that turnover is high and hiring is slow. 

“We’re at bare minimum staffing to meet the day’s requirements. So having someone take a day off is very difficult,” Vanderheuel said. 

By now, maybe you’re thinking, “This job sounds pretty grueling. Why would anyone sign up for it?” 

Well, Daniel Uphues, the firefighter who nearly had a tree fall on him, wants you to know he has other stories — about all the cool places his job has taken him, crew camaraderie and beautiful backcountry scenery.  

“But you can only get paid in sunsets so many times,” Uphues said. 

Uphues, who was hired as a seasonal employee in 2020, recently scored a coveted, permanent wildland firefighting job with the Forest Service. It comes with great retirement benefits. He’s hoping that with some pay certainty, he can stick around.

A fire truck drives along Highway 299 as the Carr Fire burns near Whiskeytown, California, in July 2018.

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Sons of the Forest Early Access Review

Promises to keep..

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I'll never forget my first confusing, terrifying encounter with a cannibal in 2018's The Forest, when an intelligent creature out of a nightmare decided simply to watch me rather than try to kill me. And while its sequel, Sons of the Forest, can't truly replicate the creepy novelty of that first time, it does build upon the gameplay, story, and atmosphere of one of the best ever survival crafting games in some very satisfying ways. It occasionally reminded me of its Early Access status with seemingly unfinished cutscenes and inconsistent performance, but not nearly as often as a lot of other recent games that use that label.

Set several years after The Forest, Sons of the Forest challenges you to survive and uncover new mysteries on a lush, temperate island that reminded me of hiking in the American Pacific Northwest. It's about four times the size of the original's map, and it is downright gorgeous. The amount and variety of vegetation, some of which can be used as a food source or to make medicines, adds a fullness and richness to the landscape that we rarely see in this type of game. The lighting is also incredible. Clouds that partially block out the sun on a warm day completely change the mood of my exploration. It's one of those small details that most games ignore, but when one of them gets it right, I really notice.

It isn't perfectly optimized yet though. While my RTX 3080 could generally cruise along at a smooth 60 frames or better at 1080p with DLSS set to maximum quality, I did run into semi-regular dips into the 20s when traveling long distances over land. And you sometimes see annoying pop-in with leaves and rocks appearing a couple dozen meters in front of you, which can really take me out of the experience. I also had a lot of glitchy sound issues, particularly during rainstorms or other times when a lot of different sounds were playing at once. Performance is usually one of the last things to be finalized, though, so hopefully a lot of this can be worked out over the course of Early Access.

Further adding to the believability and hostility of the environment in Sons of the Forest is a full system of seasons, including snowy winters that kill off most of the edible vegetation and require you to keep track of your body temperature. It's a nice change of pace, but I think there's more that could be done with these weather effects. Being soaking wet and freezing cold, even on higher difficulties, is more of a small annoyance than a life-threatening challenge. And, hilariously, you can't break the ice on frozen bodies of water, even using C4 explosives. But overall, I enjoyed both the visual variety and shift in difficulty seasons provided quite a bit.

Of course, I haven't mentioned the cannibals yet. Much like in the first game, they cleverly subvert everything we've been taught about video game enemies, prioritizing self-preservation over aggression. Every run-in with these bone-clad baddies begins with a tense stand-off, and many will choose not to fight, especially if they're alone and you don't act afraid of them. Their AI has definitely gotten a significant upgrade since The Forest, with improved stealth, more advanced social dynamics, and more varied group behavior.

They can climb trees to get away or pounce on you from above, and even set ambushes, disguising themselves in piles of leaves. It's terrifying, especially if you're caught outside at night and you can hear that they're nearby, but you don't know where. I'll let you discover some of the more interesting interactions you can have with these fine folks on your own. Suffice to say, every time I thought they were out of surprises, they surprised me again.

When you venture into the depths of the island, though, cannibals will be the least of your worries. There are a lot more hulking, horrible mutants in Sons of the Forest than there were in its prequel, and they're a lot more dangerous. I really came to enjoy the stronger focus on combat, as it's used very effectively to build tension rather than just to check a box or provide cheap thrills.

Every fight with a powerful opponent or a large group of enemies is a heart-thumping resource management puzzle that reminded me of some of the best parts of Resident Evil or The Last of Us. Ranged weapons keep you out of danger, but ammo can be very difficult to come by. In melee, it's almost impossible to win without taking some amount of damage, which depletes your breakable armor pieces and healing items. And without batteries for your flashlight, you're as good as dead. I'd rather run out of bullets and food nine times out of 10 than lose my light source deep into a cavern run.

So I found myself having to carefully consider the risks and rewards of each approach. Is losing a handful of arrows worth the loot I'll get from this cannibal camp? Is it worth the medicine I'll have to use to patch myself up if I go at this mutant with my axe to conserve ammo? The fighting itself also feels precise and responsive, so I never felt like I was robbed of my resources due to a bad hitbox or sluggish animations.

Even if you played The Forest, and you know how far some of the later chapters stray from a stroll in the woods, I can fairly confidently say you still would never guess where Sons of the Forest is going to take you before the credits roll. And if you didn't play the first one, well… buckle up, I guess. The terrifying tale that begins with trying to find a billionaire and his family who went missing in the wilderness expands on the supernatural elements established in the first game – not always in ways that I enjoyed, but it certainly never got boring.

The ending is both mind-blowing and, currently, pretty rough around the edges. I'm not going to show any of it here, but it's one of the few places I could really tell I was playing an Early Access game, with what seems like quite a bit of missing dialogue and some glitchy character interactions. In fact, I'd probably recommend you hold off on completing the story until it's in a more polished state, since there's so much else to do in the meantime.

And that includes building your dream cannibal-proof fortress with a new, totally modular building system that lets you place individual structure elements like windows and support beams wherever you want. I spent a good five or six of my 25 hours so far just setting up a base, and I really barely scratched the surface of what is now possible. Especially if you have a full, eight-person crew in multiplayer. Which, by the way, has been running great for me so far, with no significant server issues.

Sons of the Forest takes everything its predecessor did well and does it a little bit better. And considering how much I enjoyed the original, I can easily recommend this strong follow-up. Exploring a huge, beautiful, deadly island through the changing seasons is a treat on its own. The new base building mechanics could entertain me for days without ever touching the main story. And to top it all off, we have smarter and more unsettling enemy behavior paired with thoughtfully improved combat. It's already great, and it's still in Early Access. With some healthy performance optimization and shining up of an impactful but sloppy ending, it could become incredible.

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The Changeling Ending Explained: What Is In Little Norway's Forest?

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Apple TV+'s The Changeling.

  • The ending of The Changeling season 1 leaves many unanswered questions and sets the stage for a new journey in season 2.
  • Apollo and Emma find themselves in different parts of the forest in Little Norway, hinting at the location of the abducted children.
  • The Kinder Garten are the ones who stalk parents and switch their babies with changelings, sacrificing them to a troll in Little Norway for entertainment.

The Changeling season 1's ending leaves viewers with more questions than answers, setting the stage for season 2. Based on Victor LaValle's novel of the same name, Apple TV+'s The Changeling focuses on Emma and Apollo, who are a happy couple until all hell breaks loose on them. Both characters face the consequences of their pasts when their son, Brian, gets switched with a changeling. Although Apollo initially refuses to believe their son has been abducted, Emma takes some brutal actions to prove it to him. With what follows, both set out on a terrifying adventure that puts their paternal instincts to the ultimate test.

Towards the ending moments of The Changeling season 1, Apollo inches closer to figuring out where he will find Emma and his son, Brian. However, instead of concluding their narratives, The Changeling hints that a new torrid arc of their supernatural journey is about to begin. Since The Changeling season 1 leaves several overarching mysteries unresolved, it is hard not to ponder over several nagging questions from its storyline's ending.

RELATED: The Changeling Episode 7: Lillian's Backstory Explained

What Apollo & Emma Find In Little Norway In The Changeling’s Ending

In The Changeling 's final moments, Apollo and Emma arrive at different parts of the forest in Little Norway. While Apollo enters a lush green area, Emma finds a carousel in the middle of nowhere, hinting that she has finally arrived at the location where the abducted children are taken. With what follows, the Apple TV+ show only gives glimpses of what Apollo and Emma will face. For instance, one scene in the closing sequence shows how Apollo encounters one of the demonic babies the fairies in the forest use for the changelings. In another, he walks inside a dark cave and suddenly finds himself facing a colossal eye.

Although The Changeling season 1 does not reveal what the two parents face, it hints that Emma will have to solve many mysteries in the forest to ultimately get to baby Brian. Baby Brian is likely still out there, but the "fairies" have captured him and are determined to keep him with them. Since The Changeling draws inspiration from Norwegian folklore, Apollo likely encounters a troll who somehow connects to the baby abductions. Given how William and other members of the Kinder Garten had their cameras focused on the cave in The Changeling 's ending scene, they seemingly offer the abducted children to the beast in the cave.

Who Are The Kinder Garten & What Do They Want

In one of the scenes from The Changeling 's closing sequence, William types away on his computer, claiming that he and 10,000 other men are the Kinder Garten. The camera then pans to his desktop, showing other masked men looking at the cave's entrance with him. This establishes that they are the ones who stalk parents and their babies before replacing them with changelings. Once they abduct the babies and switch them with evil supernatural creatures, they take them to the Little Norway forest and sacrifice them to the troll.

While it is unknown what they get in return, the closing scene seems to establish that they do it for entertainment. In The Changeling 's earlier episodes, William reveals that he is an app developer. As an IT guy, he probably runs a dark web platform where other twisted "Kinder Garten" like him get together and maliciously profit from streaming the baby abductions and their consequences. Apollo may not stand a chance of defeating the 10,000 Kinder Garten alone. However, if he somehow overpowers the troll in season 2, he might be able to stop their immoral practices by destroying the source of their entertainment.

What Was Emma's Third Wish In The Changeling

Another big mystery in The Changeling season 1 is Emma's third wish . While her first wish was to have a good husband, the second was to raise a healthy child. Given how things went downhill for the couple after Emma's first two wishes came true, it seems likely that everything that has happened to them and baby Brian is a consequence of Emma's third wish. Although the show does not explicitly mention this, Emma probably asked for a life of adventure as her third wish. As a result, her picture somehow ended up in an art gallery in Little Norway, garnering the attention of evil supernatural forces like the Kinder Garten and giving her the sense of adventure she asked for.

What Attacked The Wise Ones’ Island In The Changeling

The Changeling season 1 hints that a giant mythical creature shows up on the Wise Ones' island but does not reveal its identity. Given how the creature follows William's orders and exhibits the strength to destroy several trees with one blow, it seems likely that it is the same troll from the closing scene of the season. The troll does everything William asks him to do because William and the other Kinder Garten men keep it satiated by giving him the abducted children. Even in the original The Changeling book, William works for a troll who feeds on the innocent abducted children and obeys William in return.

Cal’s Death & Its Myth Of Callisto Connection Explained

In Greek mythology, Callisto was Artemis' follower and was seduced by the king of all gods, Zeus. While Callisto became pregnant with Zeus' son, Zeus' wife, Hera, grew enraged with Zeus' infidelity. After finding out about Callisto and her son, Arcas, Hera turned Callisto into a bear to punish her. After Arcas grew older, he nearly killed his mother while hinting one day. However, Zeus intervened and reunited the mother and son in the heavens. As a result, Callisto became the Ursa Major constellation, representing the Big Bear, and Arcas turned into the Ursa Minor, as the Little Bear.

In The Changeling 's finale, Cal recounts the myth of Callisto to Apollo, hinting that, like all the other women on the Wise Ones' island, she, too, lost her son. Like Apollo's mother, Lillian, and William's wife, Greta, she likely ended up falling for the wrong man, who was one of the members of the Kinder Garten. Like Callisto, however, Cal reunites with her son in the heavens after she sacrifices her life to protect the Wises Ones from the troll on the island. This explains why Apollo sees the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor in the sky moments after Cal dies on the island.

The Changeling’s Norwegian American Immigration Reference Explained

The Changeling season 1's finale features a prologue where Apollo says that, on July 4, 1825, 52 people set sail in a sloop called Restauration to complete an impossible voyage from Norway to America. He implies that even though they faced insurmountable challenges along the way, a form of supernatural help allowed them to reach America unscathed. While the original 1825 Norwegian American immigration had nothing to do with the supernatural, The Changeling continues blending magic and mysticism with real-world events to establish the enduring impact of folklore, myth, and culture in one's life.

His account of the immigrants' voyage from Norway to the US parallels his mother's journey from Uganda to New York. Like the immigrants, his mother had to defy many odds and overcome many grave challenges to find her place in " the promised land. " However, given how The Changeling draws inspiration from Norwegian folklore, the Norwegian-American reference may also offer answers to how the troll ended up in Little Norway. In a brief scene in The Changeling 's episode 7, William mentions he had Norwegian ancestors, hinting that his forefathers were on the sloop — perhaps, traveling with the troll that Apollo encounters in Little Norway.

How The Changeling Season 1’s Ending Sets Up Season 2

The Changeling 's season 1 sets up season 2 in more ways than one. For starters, it affirms that Emma and Apollo's quest to rescue their abducted son is far from over. By showing how both arrive at Little Norway's forest towards the end, it establishes that they are one step closer to finding baby Brian. However, in season 2, they will face far bigger challenges and cross paths with more potent supernatural forces before they have a chance at saving their child. Following William's death, other Kinder Garten members will also trail them and try to stop them from reaching their end goal. Not to mention, Emma and Apollo will also have to face a troll to rescue Brian and get out of the forests alive in The Changeling season 2.

The Changeling Ending Explained: What Is In Little Norway's Forest?

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COMMENTS

  1. A Romance of the Little Forest (2022)

    Polski Türkçe Español Native Title: 两个人的小森林 Also Known As: Two People's Little Forest , Liang Ge Ren De Xiao Sen Lin , 兩個人的小森林 Screenwriter: Tang Yao Director: Cai Cong Genres: Comedy, Romance, Life

  2. Little Forest (film)

    Little Forest is a 2018 South Korean drama film directed by Yim Soon-rye and based on a manga series of the same name by Daisuke Igarashi which was first published in 2002. [3] [4]

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    Little Forest 2018 · 1 hr 43 min PG-13 Drama · Foreign/International When a wayward young woman finally has her fill of city life, she returns to her countryside roots and finally finds what she's always been searching for. StarringTae-ri Kim So-Ri Moon Jun-yeol Ryu Directed bySoon-rye Yim You May Also Like Safe Haven 2013 1 hr 55 min PG-13

  4. Little Forest (2018)

    1h 43m IMDb RATING 7.3 /10 3.8K YOUR RATING Rate Play trailer 1:12 1 Video 40 Photos Drama A young woman grows tired of life in the city and returns to her hometown in the countryside. Director Soon-rye Yim Writers Seong-gu Hwang Daisuke Igarashi Stars Kim Tae-ri Ryu Jun-Yeol Moon So-ri See production info at IMDbPro STREAMING RENT/BUY from $1.99

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    Intentional or not. After I finished the 2 volumes, it didn't feel like there was a set ending and I was almost expecting the next one to come out. Little Forest リトル・フォレスト: the Japanese adaptation The Japanese adaptation was, cinematography wise, absolutely stunning and, at moments, felt like moving paintings.

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  10. Little Forest

    "Little Forest" is a 2018 South Korean film directed by Yim Soon Rye. It is based on the popular manga series by the same title written and illustrated by Daisuke Igarashi. We and our partners use cookies and similar technologies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes providing, analysing and ...

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    74% Profile Movie: Little Forest Revised romanization: Liteul Poreseuteu Hangul: 리틀 포레스트 Director: Yim Soonrye Writer: Daisuke Igarashi (manga), Hwang Sung-Goo Producer: Ku Jung-A, Shin Bum-Soo Cinematographer: Lee Seung-Hoon Release Date: February 28, 2018 Runtime: 103 min. Genre: Food / Mother & Daughter Distributor: Megabox Plus M

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    A Little Forest

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    ️Subscribe to Latest Dramas: https://bit.ly/3Oisodi ️#ARomanceOfTheLittleForest:https://bit.ly/romanceforestengA story following a botany professor focusing...

  21. Little Forest (TV program)

    Little Forest (Korean: 리틀 포레스트) is a South Korean television entertainment program broadcast by SBS every Monday and Tuesday from 12 August to 7 October 2019. The program starred Lee Seo-jin , Lee Seung-gi , Park Na-rae and Jung So-min .

  22. Little Forest: Winter/Spring (2015)

    Little Forest: Winter/Spring: Directed by Jun'ichi Mori. With Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka, Yôichi Nukumizu, Karen Kirishima. Ichiko lived in a big city, but goes back to her small hometown Komori, located on a mountain in the Tohoku region. She is self-sufficient. Ichiko gains energy living among nature and eating foods she makes from seasonal ingredients.

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  28. The Changeling Ending Explained: What Is In Little Norway's Forest?

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