My copy of Wild Things--a bit shabby but still with its Caldecott Medal intact
I really wanted to like the new movie Where the Wild Things Are, based on the book by Maurice Sendak. But once again Hollywood has ruined a children’s classic. DH and I went to see it last night and came home disappointed.
The wonderful monsters and the little boy are faithfully reproduced on the big screen. The young man who plays Max is cute and real. The story is followed as it was written. But all the fillers really left a bad taste in my mouth. Max is dealing with normal frustrations at home that come with a single mother and a big sister. He acts up, gets in trouble and ends up in the boat.
But The Wild Things are even more dysfunctional than Max’s people. They loom and argue. They whine and hate and destroy. They ostracize and sulk. No escape for Max here. Nothing funny. Nothing exciting. At one point Max divides them into gangs and leads his group into pelting the smallest Wild Thing with dirt clods until he is injured.
The kids in the theater with us looked confused. We all expected a fun adventure not bad group therapy. At least Max realized his mom was valuable. He told The Wild Things he wished they had a mom, said goodbye and left for home in his boat where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot.