“Where the Wild Things Are”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Hands down one of my favorite books as a kid, right up there with The Digging-Est Dog, Where the Wild Things Are, was most likely an iconic children’s book for most of our childhoods. I remember just staring at Maurice Sendak’s illustrations of Max and his monster friends for hours on end. So, imagine my excitement when I heard that visionary director Spike Jonze and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop were going to bring that beloved book to life on the big screen.
In Where the Wild Things Are, we follow the journey of Max, an 8 year old boy, trying to find his place in the world. His teenage sister is starting to hangout with friends of her own, and his single Mom is starting to date again, leaving little time for them to play with Max. Until one night, when Max puts on his beloved wolf costume to cause a little mischief and ends up running away from home. When he stumbles upon a small boat, he sets sail, and soon finds himself on an island of monsters. On the island the monsters make him king, and they play and howl at the moon together; but Max quickly learns that one can never truly run away from one’s problems.
Spike Jonze does an amazing job of fleshing out Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book. In this film, he also captures the raw feeling and imagination of being a child. The other thing I realized he managed to do was give the film the feel of a children’s movie from our generation. You know, it didn’t feel like a modern movie for kids. It had me thinking of the kid movies I grew up with, like The Red Balloon and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. With that being said, I don’t think that this movie with its lack of narrative will hold the attention of kids today. I think this movie is only going to truly appeal to our generation. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has once again out done themselves. The use of mixing real life puppets with CGI effects, has clearly laid a new path for the future of special effects. I would like to think that his company, being the driving force behind bringing these classic illustrations to life, would have made Jim Henson very proud. The bottom line is, if you’re thirty years old or older, you are going to love this movie. But, if this is the first time you have ever heard of Where the Wild Things Are, you might find yourselves a little bit lost on what makes it so great.

Rating:
4.5 Little People


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