Opens: October 16, 2009
Website: Official Where the Wild Things Are site
Starring: Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Max Records, various creatures featuring the voices of James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, and Catherine O’Hara
My Review: If your parents never got you a copy of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are as a kid, then they obviously never really loved you. The beloved children’s book is light on plot; Max, a mischievous boy in a wolf suit, is sent to bed without supper and he then enters the fantasy world of the Wild Things, who make Max their king. The book is even lighter on actual text, as it only contains around ten sentences. But for once, a book isn’t about the words, it’s about the images. Sendak illustrates a richly developed forest of the Wild Things, filled with monsters that tower over Max, yet somehow have a sweet sadness about them that keeps them from being frightening. Anyone who’s ever browsed the pages of Where the Wild Things Are wishes they could dive into this bizarrely creative fantasy.
Adapting this into a full length movie is no easy task, both due to the thin plot and the overly critical eye that nearly every audience member will bring to the theater. The trailer plays like a music video, and doesn’t give away much about how screenwriters Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers have fleshed out the plot. But visually speaking, it’s spot on. The creatures look just a friendly fearsome as they do in the book and Max is every bit the impish troublemaker he’s supposed to be. And when the trailer shows scenes of him romping through the forest with his beastly pals, just like I did with the book, I want to dive right in there with them.
Would I Pay For It?: Barring any really heinous advance reviews, I will definitely be shelling out money to see Where the Wild Things Are in the theater. Or I shall go to bed without supper.