As I’m sure everyone knows, the feature length, live action film of Where the Wild Things Are is now in theaters. I was cautiously excited about this film. The book is one of my all time favorite children’s picture books. I knew that there had to be stuff added to the story in order to make it long enough, but was more than a bit anxious about what the additions would be.
I was right to be anxious.
The husband and I went to a late night showing of the movie over opening weekend. Hubby was excited – not because he particularly wanted to see the movie, but because he knows how much I love the book. He was excited for me. I was excited, but worried. I had seen a status or two on Facebook from people who had seen the movie and were less than impressed.
The beginning was decent. You fall in love with Max, and feel sorrow for his troubled young soul. But, when he dons his wolf suit, the story begins to get too dark. Biting his mother, he runs away when she sends him to his room.
Let the disturbing part really begin!
The Wild Things have a myriad of psychological and behavioral issues. Extremely aggressive and angry. Manipulative. Paranoid. Depressed. They either need a mass quantity of happy pills or to be locked in padded rooms. Max – who craves much needed attention – finds it with the Wild Things, but quickly becomes confused and anxious as they pit him against one another.
The ending really wasn’t much of an ending. Like the book, Max returns home and there is his dinner waiting for him, nice and hot. While this is a great ending for a children’s picture book, it is a weak one for a movie that proves to be not for a young audience.
My final words on the movie:
Honestly, I was so upset with this rendition of a classic children’s book that I almost cried when I left the theater.
Don’t take your young kids to see it. I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking my 9 and 10 year old cousins, let alone a child at the appropriate age range for the picture book. If you want to see an age appropriate movie based on a children’s book, go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (and read the book with your kids as well!).
And, if you want to see the movie, borrow it from the library when it comes out on DVD. Don’t waste the money at the theater.