Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

This film makes me so proud to be a part of the Warner Bros. family.

BEAUTIFUL – adjective.  1. Having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind.  2. excellent of its kind.  3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

Where the Wild Things Are is a beautiful film.

I laughed, I cried, I got scared, and I left the film uplifted.

There was so much love poured into this film – just watch Max (played by Max Records) and you’ll see how safe and cherished he felt while making this film.

If you’ve read the book, you know already know what the movie is about: a little boy who acts out against his mom (“I’ll eat you up!”) and is sent to bed without supper.  A fantastical adventure follows, and Max learns some valuable lessons along the way.  He returns home to find that his mom has set out a warm dinner for him in his bedroom.

The movie builds on the story, adding a big sister and an absent father and fleshing out Max’s relationship with his mom.  The cinematography, camera direction, editing, and music were all perfection.

There is one memorable scene when Max is lying on the floor at his mom’s feet while she does some work on the computer.  She takes a break from her work to encourage her son to tell her a story.  Their sweet exchange, him telling her a story, her typing it out, and their non-verbal communication, was so true to how a child sees the world.  It’s been a while since I was a kid (hey, this old lady turns 27 in December), but working with junior high school students for the past 5 years has tuned me in a bit to what it means to be a child.

Where the Wild Things Are is what it means to be a child.  Everything is fantastical and larger than life (the monsters are huge!), but with a little bit of courage, these big huge problems (or monsters) can become adventures.  “Let the wild rumpus start!”

I also loved that some of my favorite lines from the book are in the film.  Lines like “I’ll eat you up!” and “Let the wild rumpus start!” were favorites of mine, and it was so fun to hear young Max shout these lines to his mother and the monsters, respectively.

I highly recommend this film to any adult, wether you’re a fan of the book or not.  I wouldn’t take anyone under 10 years old, mainly because the film is quite intense at times (okay, I’ll admit it, I was scared) and the pacing of the film might not hold the interest of a younger child.  But anyone junior high age or older will enjoy this film.

Now, “let the wild rumpus start!”

*For additional reviews, click here to read the one at Entertainment Weekly.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are

  1. It’s my favorite book that I read to my kids when they were little. In fact, our copy is in tatters after going through four kids… but Elizabeth had to save it when we culled our kids’ books.

  2. I completely agree with you, em. You just said it so much better than I could. And I agree that a younger child probably couldn’t stay focused. They’re were several in the audience and they weren’t exactly quiet.

    But yeah, beautiful. I’m not sure it tops Coraline for me, but it come pretty darn close.

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