Ok, I'll admit that it has been like 12 or so years since I first read that little gem of a children's book, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. But if I remember correctly, it is basically a ten page book where Max, some boy in a silly wolf costume, goes to a far off land, becomes king of the Wild Things, romps and plays with them for a bit, and then returns home. Now obviously in order to make this classic into a feature length film, it has to be expanded a bit. I get that. But the question is, should it have even been made into a movie at all?
When I saw this movie last Saturday at the dollar theater, I was pretty excited. It's a classic children's story, and I was hoping to escape into a cute little movie. Not so. Like at all. In fact, if I was a parent, I would not take my kid to see this movie. Most of the kids in the theater were flat out terrified or very very bored. And I was a bit, too, I have to admit. Where the Wild Things Are is a dark, psychological movie with themes and symbolism I never remembered hearing about from the book.
The visual effects were wonderful, I admit. And as a lover of "deeper meanings" and literary concepts, I could certainly appreciate the symbolism going on. (Carol = Max, KW = sister, the wild things all show a certain part of Max and his psycho personality, yada yada yada) But the overall quality of the movie just didn't work for me. It got really incredibly slow in the middle, almost to a point where I contemplated leaving (and I NEVER do that during a movie) and it catapulted into this angsty climax where nothing made sense and some bird's arm gets torn off. And he doesn't even care. (Actually that was my favorite line in the movie - "Hey that was my favorite arm!" I think some kids screamed at that part) I feel that the movie was trying to accomplish too much at once - trying to be both a children's movie and a deep thinking piece of art - that it was pretty much lackluster in both areas. Sorry. I know people loved this movie. But both Brittany and I walked out of that theater thinking that 1) that was the wierdest movie we'd ever seen and 2) we think we'll just stick to the book next time. Where no arms are ripped off and not everybody wants to eat each other.