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Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:31 am
Where the Wild Things Are, pt. 2
Posted by: Courtney Jones

wild-thingsWhen the opportunity arose to see the film again, this time with a 10-year-old boy present, I jumped at the chance. But not without first warning him that the film was a bit more sedate than other kiddie films, to which he responded, “this is my movie, and I have no intention of falling asleep.” True enough, it was his film. He knew the names of the characters and voice actors all before setting foot in the cinema. He had researched the film, but he had never read the book. And, full disclosure, before viewing the film the first time, neither had I.

As the movie settled down from a wild rumpus to a study of child emotions and kid logic (who knew there was so much human drama where the wild things are?), I took a moment to glance around the theater. My young companion was riveted, and so were the teenagers and adults sitting behind us. I wondered, had all these adults (especially the ones without children) been touched by book as kids? Was it read to them, or did they discover it on their own? Had they yearned through the years to join Max in his sailboat, and live amongst the wild things? Or, were they too wooed by the moving trailer and perfect soundtrack?

I worried during the first viewing that I’d miss some profound message or deep connection that others carried away. But I found myself fighting tears at the end, and I’m happy to say that the second viewing has the same emotional impact. The kid? He was fine; in fact, he made fun of me a little for “welling up.” But still, as Gillian pointed out, this is not the kind of film one parks their kid in front of, à la Madagascar 2. Children might need some soothing afterward, or at least some quiet one-on-one time.

Do I recommend this film? Yes; it is wonderful and so is the cast. The young star, Max Records, is unbelievably good in every scene. Should you read the book before hand? Yes.  Come on! It’s a classic and only ten lines long. The movie-going experience can only be enriched by reading the original.

I’d like to know, when and where did you first encounter Where the Wild Things Are?

10 Responses to “Where the Wild Things Are, pt. 2”
  1. laura Says:

    WTWTA was the book my mother took with us every time I had to go to the doctor as a very young child. Once, she said, she forgot to bring it, and so instead we sat in the waiting room and recited it from memory. (It is only ten lines long, after all — and I was sick a lot.)

  2. Marie Says:

    Where the Wild Things Are is the book that sticks with me from childhood because it was the only book I ever remember my father reading to us. I have shared my love of this book with my own child and he too loves Max and the Wild Things, he will be dressed as Max this Halloween! I took him to the movie on Sunday and was a little worried because, at 4, it might be a little scary, but he was riveted and his main concern was “Where is the blue one” (His favorite Wild Thing) and “Where is their mommy.” I thought the movie was exceptional and did the book justice.

  3. Cheryl Bryan Says:

    I read Where the Wild are to my (now 30 year old) son. It was his favorite book and he even had a Max stuffed figure.
    I ‘m looking forwar4d to seeing the movie-are children’s emotions really so different from adult’s?

  4. Scott Says:

    In 1969, I was in the first grade. It was one of the first books I purchased from the schoolastic book sale. I remember the monsters scared me, but I was able relate to the little boy in the book. It’s a wonderful book and I can still remember “Where the Wild Things Are” a being the one of the first books I ever purchased and read.

  5. Virginia Samora Says:

    I am a middle school librarian and almost threw the old book away. I found it! It was saved and I ordered a new one. I just read it this week first time in my long life this week. Also read it to a class of 6th graders. Loved it.

  6. Dataw Golfer Says:

    I know this is becoming common knowledge, but I’ve never seen a movie that was better than the book. A lot of this has to do with whether or not you read the book first though. I loved this book as a kid, so i gotta see the movie.

  7. Lisa Says:

    Read The Wild Things by Dave Eggers. It’s based on the screenplay of the movie, and is so good. I think it made me enjoy the movie more.

  8. Janice Says:

    Great review! Didn’t know that you got “choked up” too. Your young “date” is my hero. I will read the book!

  9. Taylor Says:

    i really enjoyed this movie! eventhough ive never read the book and honestly had no intrest in seeing the movie initially!i was shocked at how realistically the characters seemed (eventhough they were huge oafish….well wild things. the costumes were so well made i was wondering if there is really some area where these wild things live, because i couldnt imagine those costumes being fake! lol the main character max ws the cutest little kid and i think everybody can relate to him in some way. all in all i enjoyed the movie. great review ;-)

  10. Brandon Says:

    Yeah the kid sounds cool. I loved the movie I saw it with my cousin and one of my cousins friends.But the kid seems nice.


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