Where the Wild things are is a children's book that was written by Maurice Sendak back in 1963 that I think just about every kid has had a copy or read in their lives. This adaptation of the book is directed by Spike Jonze and the screen play was written by David Eggers. Jonze has directed two films, Adaptation and Being John Malcovich. He has mostly directed music videos through his career, so this is a big change.
The story obviously has to be adapted from the original 43 page book in order to make a 90 minute movie. The story is about Max(Max Records), who lives with his Mom and his older sister. He gets angry because of the way his sisters friends treat him and that his Mother is ignoring him as she has a date(Mark Ruffalo). So Max lashes out and bites his Mom and runs away and climbs into a boat and sails off to an island. That's where the Wild Things are.
Max comes upon the Wild Things and ends up their king. Carol is the main Wild Thing, voiced by James Gandolfini. He's sort of the leader and a bit angry as Max arrives. The story evolves from there to develop a relationship between Max and all of the Wild Things. The rest of the story is all about what they learn from Max and what he learns from them.
I really liked the way that this was written and directed. They have some fantastic views and landscapes throughout the movie. This was all filmed in Australia near Melbourne. The puppeteer work and the graphics are done really well and the story was just brilliant.
The music was scored by Karen O and The Kids and really plays well to the movie. The songs are simple and fun and fit right in. Karen O is the lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, she has band members as well as Racontuers guitar and bass players with a few others helping out.
From my perspective I felt that there were some scenes that were a little scary and violent for younger kids as well as some behavior that you hope they don't pick up and learn. Still my 3 1/2 year old daughter really loved the Wild Things and enjoyed the music as well. So for me it's a movie you could take the whole family too as we did.
There are points where the movie is a little slow, but overall it really does keep you wondering what's going to happen next or how are the characters going to behave. It's a fun film with a good story that shows that family is really what it's all about.
I would certainly recommend seeing this movie. It has happy and sad points and it really is just a cool story that I have always loved since I was a kid. I think that Max is a character many can identify with and the story and the imagination of all who created it is brilliant. I think I always wanted to run off to the land of the Wild Things, but the closest I got was the woods across from my families house and The Wild things weren't there.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars