By Erin Rae Fowler
Based on the award winning picture book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, “Where The Wild Things Are” hit the theatres Oct. 16.
Director Spike Jonze took the idea presented in the book of a boy named Max (played by Max Records) living a childhood of misunderstanding and neglect. Max then escapes from the real world in order to find comfort and belonging somewhere else.
In the book, the troubled Max is sent to his room without dinner for bad behavior. Throughout the night, a forest of wild things grows in his imagination.
However, in the movie, Max runs away from a conflict due to his disobedience. He runs a few blocks away from his home and mother (Catherine Keener). As he ventures through the woods, his tale begins with his imaginative journey across sea and to the island of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
The cast of creatures that inhabit the island include the voices of James Gandolini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Michael Berry Jr., Chris Cooper and Lauren Ambrose.
Intrigued by the boy, these creatures pronounce him king of their island. Max pronounces, “Let the wild rumpus start!”
Over time, Max builds a strong relationship with the striped creature Carol (Gandolfini) revealing that the two of them have a lot in common. Carol’s behavior later stirs up conflict with the others on the island, which aren’t mentioned in the book.
Through continued conflict and slight resolution, Max begins to reflect on his own feelings and self-struggle.
Based on a children’s book with few words and detailed illustrations, Jonze is able to expand and explore creativity with writer Dave Eggers.
The cinematography by Lance Acord is lighthearted; though dark at times it is alluring and natural.
Though this Warner Brother’s film is based off of a children’s book, it is debatable as to whether the rating matches its tone.
The film is rated PG due to some “mild thematic elements, action and language.”
The consistency of struggles between the characters lead to inappropriate actions, some of which may not be fitted and suitable for young one’s eyes and ears.
Though gloomy at times, “Where The Wild Things Are” is an exciting tale filled with, adventure and imagination. With a playful and alternative soundtrack by Karen O. and the Kids, the movie will be sure to bring out not only the kid but also the wild thing in all of us.