Where the Wild Things Are
Starring Max Records, Catherine Keener, and James Gandolfini
Directed by Spike Jonze (Adaptation)
Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Appropriate for ages 10+
Based on Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story, Wild Things follows an unruly little boy named Max that runs away from home one night and ends up on an island inhabited with dangerous but lovable monsters that at first want to eat him, but then choose to be ruled by him.
Under the control of a more normal individual this film would have been a cute and fuzzy little picture with zero vision and very little life. After all, when imagining a movie of this story, most would automatically think of an animated film, but Spike Jonze saw something completely different. That is why author Sendak allowed him to make it where he forbid so many before him. To create such life-like monsters in such a beautiful manner and put them in a world where each new step is an unprecedented adventure is exhilarating. The choices of style, music, costumes, facial features, and every other little detail make this one of the most breathtaking productions I’ve seen all year.
What impresses most though is that the spirit of the film truly represents that of a wild little boy. It’s almost as if Jonze himself has not grown up and is able to represent those crazy feelings in sight, sound and emotion on screen. Just like a little boy, the film is a little annoying at times, but you are always kept on your toes.
One of the biggest questions I have gotten is how acceptable it is for children. I’m not sure if I would let small children into this one, especially if they were mine. That being said, there were a lot of little kids at my screening and they were enthralled. I was worried that there would be a lot of crying and “daddy I’m scared” talk, but instead it seemed like the kids were having more fun than me. Go figure. A-