Wild Things Kerfuffle

Where the Wild Things Are has me in a kerfuffle. I speak of the movie version, of course. On one hand I know it will be fun to see the F/X magic that goes into making the story come to life. On the other, I don’t really want the story to come to life.

Wild Things is a picture book, one with a very simple story and spare text. What makes Things extraordinary are the fabulous drawings of Maurice Sendak and the imagination of the young character Max. Let’s be honest – you could tell this story on film, have it look amazing and use every single special effect in existence and the entire thing wouldn’t need to be more than fifteen minutes long. So how is writer/director Spike Jonze going to fill that out to a feature film? My guess – he and Warner Bros. will ruin it with false feeling antagonists and conflicts that never existed in the mind of the creator or the millions of children who have loved the book. This iconic story will get Hollywoodized.

Not that such a thing is always a failure – a nice 30 minute adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Chiristmas being exhibit A. Two differences. One; 30 minutes, not 90. Two; animation, not live action. Need I remind anyone how the full length live action version of The Grinch starring Jim Carrey turned out? If you’re remembering “putrid”, you’re right on.

This is what I fear for the beloved Where the Wild Things Are. As much as I love movies, some things should never see a movie screen, and this book is one of them. Will opening day prove me right or wrong? Any guesses?

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