When I was young, I used to love reading. I’d pick up anything and have just as much fun reading it than my friends would have watching t.v. I don’t read much anymore, but back then, things were different. I like to think that my desire to read stemmed from my family reading books to me when I was too young to read things by myself. But they weren’t just any books; they were cool books. Stories that I enjoyed, stories that had something that the typical fairy tale/Disney Movie-esque books didn’t have. One such book was Maurice Sendak’s classic, “Where the Wild Things are.” That story stands out in my mind over all the other stories I was read as a child. It was an experience that I now share with my young ones, in the hope that it will inspire a passion for reading. Okay, I’m kinda hoping they become super geniuses and can help me and their mother retire early. Anyway, I’m sure everyone knows about the story. It’s so well known, so popular in school libraries, and recommended by nearly any adult you’d talk to, despite it’s length (a mere 10 sentences!). But, just in case there are some of you who were born in a cave in the Himalayas, and just recently came out to experience the world for the first time, here is a rundown of the infamous children’s book:
“The book tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home, “making mischief” in a wolf costume by chasing the dog with a fork and growling at his mom. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest grows out of his imagination, and Max journeys to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them “by staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once,” and he is made “the King of all Wild Things.” However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick, and he returns home to his bedroom, where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.”
When I found out that Sendak’s book was being made into a live-action film, I was very intrigued, but I definitely had my doubts. Since then, everything that I have seen and heard leads me to believe that I will really enjoy this movie, and my kids will be in awe of it, just like I was the first time I heard the story. There is something in the story, something that nearly all children consciously miss, and many adults miss as well. It is a beautiful analysis of anger, and most people don’t even realize the significance of the tale. I still wonder about how they are going to turn ten sentences into a full length film, but the visuals alone have me thrilled about it’s tentative release in October. There are some who worry about that date, as the film has already been delayed multiple times. Whenever it gets released, I have no doubt that people will go to see it. What my hope is, aside from getting kids to read the book, is that this film will get Spike Jonze some long-deserved attention. I believe he is very talented, and even a visionary in this business. Maybe this will expose his talents to enough people to get him some more projects. He just doesn’t make enough movies.
Where the Wild Things are is one of those rare films that come along and just wow you visually AND emotionally, even if only in your subconscious mind. I simply cannot imagine anyone looking at the trailer and not being impressed. The trailer was everything I could’ve hoped for, and more. It was fun. It just had a good vibe to it. I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but if you watched the trailer, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Now, it would even be a safe bet to assume that the film will make a decent chunk of cash in it’s opening weekend. If the film ends up being as good as it looks now, word of mouth will push this film over the top. Maybe we’ll even get to the point where we see some good movie adaptations of children’s books (I’m looking at you Mike Myers!!!). We can only hope.
Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things are stars Catherine Keener, Benicio Del Toro, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine O’Hara, Tom Noonan, Michael Berry, and James Gandolfini. It is currently scheduled for release on October 16th, 2009.