Where the Wild Things Aren’t Wild

Posted in Movies by CulturalMining.com on October 24, 2009

where_the_wild_things_areWhere the Wild Things Are
Dir: Spike Jonze

Max (Max Records), a boy who lives with his mother (Catherine Keener) and sister, likes to run around in an animal suit, growling and burrowing. He runs away after he breaks some things, messes up his house and bites his mother. Max sails across the ocean to an island where the wild things are. The wild things are scary-looking Pufnstuf-sized animated monster-puppets who live in cool huts of woven twigs. They crown Max as their new king so he can solve all their problems. Their goal is to stop fighting and breaking things, and to join together in a warm and furry eternal group hug.

I really wanted to like this movie. It’s written by Dave Eggers, the experimental (though over-rated) creative novelist, directed by the interesting (though over-rated) video and movie director Spike Jonze, and based on the amazing children’s book by the fantastical (and under-rated) children’s illustrator and writer Maurice Sendak.wild things illustr

Unfortunately, the movie sucked. It was unbearably boring and slow, with a painfully obvious plot, and an inexplicably drawn-out pace designed to suck the life out of even the most dazzling scenes. Who can enjoy a movie like this? It can’t be made for kids, since there’s no suspense and almost nothing happens. It can’t be made for grown-ups, since the simplistic dialogue is like a whiney self-help power point presentation. The monsters, while initially scary, are quickly revealed to be a set of aging stoner hippie-monsters living in a failed commune with their ADD kids and drop-out emo teens.

This may be the first escapist movie that panders specifically to kids’ parents. Not to kids and not to adults, nor even to adults who remember loving Sendak’s lush jungle fantasy as a kid. It’s only aimed at parents of wild kids who just wish for some peace and quiet.

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2 Responses

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  1. b said, on March 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Hey man… i disagree with this comments. You start from a wrong place.. the movie is not for kids obviously, it’s not for grownups expecting the obvious. The movie is made for people who can identify with it.. as obvious as it may seem, the movie (and the story from the book) wished to bring back the viewer to a misanderstood childhood, where imaginary worlds as the one depicted is sometimes an only escape for kids who grew up kinda being a loner.. so yeah, the movie is not for the kids but for the ones who used to be that kid.. and trust me there are loads around. The first scene where the kid has an imaginary wolrd of legos in his room.. that says it all man, you get the movie right at that point. So if you¡re looking for a cool story line, you wond find it here.. here you will find something else. Hope you got it now..


    • editor said, on March 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      b, like you said, I think the movie was supposed to be for adults who remember the book, but it betrays the book near the end of the movie. On the island, the “parent” monsters tell Max: “We always knew you had no powers, we knew you’re not really the king, we were just playing along with you, so our son wouldn’t get too upset…”

      So, same with the imaginary world of Lego, the movie’s saying: Kids, have your fun, and we’ll allow it, but we can tell it’s all in your head.


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