David and Lara’s Reviews of Where the Wild Things Are

21 Oct

David’s Review

Where The Wild Things Are was my favorite book when I was kid.  That and this Golden Book called The Five Little Firemen.  (There are spoilers in this paragraph if you haven’t read the book, but you should be ashamed of yourself if that’s the case!)  The story is about a boy named Max who terrorizes his house and is, consequently, sent to bed without his supper.  He somehow ends up in a strange land inhabited by huge monsters who make him their king.  He loves it for a little while, but eventually misses being a boy.  The Wild Things aren’t very happy about that decision.  But Max goes home anyway.


After years of reading this ten sentence story I heard they might make a movie of it.  I immediately thought, “There’s a grand total of ten sentences.”  The only way they could make this work in Hollywood was to stretch it out by adding lots of really stupid things to make it “funnier” and more kid-friendly.  Then I heard Spike Jonze was directing it, Dave Eggers was writing it, and Maurice Sendak (he wrote the book, come on idiot) was going to produce it and help them out all along the way.  I suddenly wasn’t so appalled by the idea.  I began to be intrigued instead. I became even more interested when I heard they were going to be using Jim Henson Creature Shop created suits for the monsters, not CGI/Jar Jar Binks monstrosities.  I’ve always been a firm believer that the Jim Henson Workshop makes the best-looking movies around.  Then rumors began to fly that Karen O (from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) would be in charge of the music.  This movie had gone from what I imagined would be a nightmare, into all my dreams coming true.

After viewing the finished product, I knew all my dreams had come true.  The movie is almost exactly the same story as the book, just with added details.  Why is Max such a terror?  Now we know.  What is so hard about being king that he wants to be a kid again?  Now we know.  Who are the REAL Wild Things?  Now we know.  If anyone could answer these questions without making the story stupid it’s Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers.  The book was published in 1963 so there are lots of people, of all different ages, that have loved this story.  I would venture to say there is something in the film for all of them.  That couldn’t have been easy.  If they hadn’t already done it I would have said it was impossible.  Outside of Pixar, you don’t see too many movies these days that will work for kids and adults alike.

Where the Wild Things Are

Granted, a lot of people are saying this movie doesn’t work for kids.  They’re saying that its full of adult ideas about childhood and doesn’t leave much for a child to enjoy.  Well, I say that anyone who says that doesn’t remember being a kid.  Kids know the world is a scary place.  This movie isn’t going to teach them that.  They know relationships can fall apart.  And they love watching huge, teddy bear- like monsters punch holes in trees.  Kids are not that different from adults when it comes to how they feel; they’re just a little more honest.  At its heart, this movie is about how the world makes you feel, and how you deal with that.  And it reminds how many things there are in the world that can make you feel scared.  It reminds us what it’s like to be a kid.  If you’re already a kid, you’ll just enjoy the monsters.  You’re not going to notice all the stuff everyone is afraid is going to disturb you, because it’s all stuff you deal with every day of your life.

I’ve also heard people say that the story doesn’t work because it’s repetitive.  I’m actually baffled by this claim.  I’m having a hard time even figuring out what was meant, so it’s hard to provide evidence to the contrary.Where The Wild Things Are

Even if you don’t like anything else in this movie, you can’t deny it’s beautiful.  Every single Wild Thing is beautiful.  They all look exactly like they did in the book, they just have emotions and personalities now.  They build awesome forts and play crazy games and do everything you always imagined them doing if it were you there with them, instead of Max.  I used to sit for hours just looking at the pictures of them, wishing I could dance and play with them.  Spike Jonze has gotten me closer to fulfilling that dream than I ever thought possible.  The Jim Henson Creature Shop proved once again that they are the masters of what they do.  These monsters were as alive to me in the movie as they ever were in my head.

Where The Wild Things Are is exactly what I wanted it to be.  The monsters look just the way they did in the book.  Max acts like he always has in my head.  The music is beautiful.  The story is magical.  The scenery is beautiful.  I feel like this movie was made specifically for me, and that’s just about the biggest compliment I can give any movie.WildThings2


Readers. You probably already know this but I’ll tell you anyway: I am a very nice person. Because of this, when my sister’s computer broke recently I said we could share Levar (my laptop). And after a morning of writing a review for American Beauty and spending much too much time on it, I promised her that Levar could be hers for the rest of the day. This served as a dilly of a pickle when I watched the new movie Where the Wild Things Are tonight and was supposed to, immediately thereafter, write a review. So I decided to hand write an outline review of Where the Wild Things Are. For what film would this be more fitting? Finally my sloppy, ALL CAP handwriting can be utilized to its full potential! (It must be fate!)

wild things

Click on the images to see them better.

wild things 2

Where the Wild Things Are


3 Responses to “David and Lara’s Reviews of Where the Wild Things Are”

  1. Matt Worthington October 21, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    I use to watch movies with Lara in a house in Oxford, England.

    I just wanted to say that on here.

  2. Charlie Bucket October 23, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Well, I’ll wait to see it when it’s at the dollar theater, because nothing is worth 10 dollars. but I’m looking forward to it.

  3. Desiree November 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    I saw this movie on Halloween night and I absolutely loved it. But most people I’ve talked to have said they didn’t like it at all. Hmmm. I’m wondering why. Is it too simple, is it too boring, is it not little kid enough? Someone said it was depressing. I say it was perfect and I even cried a lot at the end, but in a good way.

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