Saturday, December 5, 2015

Where the Wild Things Are - The Movie

It had been awhile since I saw this film.  I bought it when it first came out on DVD because I had missed it in the theaters, and always loved the children's book by Maurice Sendak.

Unfortunately, it didn't make much of an impression the first time I watched it, so it got shelved and pretty much forgotten for a few years.

A couple of nights ago I was perusing my DVD stacks for something to watch and came across it.  I thought I'd give it a second try.  Things change.  I absolutely hated "The Princess Bride" the first time around, and I loved it the next time I saw it, and must have seen it 25 times to date.

So I put the DVD of "Where the Wild Things Are" in the player and sat back - with some trepidation.

I needn't have worried.

Wow.  Just wow...  I loved it.  Everything about it.  The treatment of the story, the costumes, effects, music, voice talent and performances of the people in the "suits." were all stunning.  The locations were perfect, and so were the camera-work and editing.

Here's what on Amazon reviewer had to say:

Directed by the wonderfully inventive Spike Jonze, WTWTA follows young Max as he runs away from home following an argument with his mother and finds solace in a world of his own. He sets sail and washes up on an island inhabited by furry beings who take him in and crown him as their new king- unfortunately they have eaten every other king they have ever had. The boys relationship with the wild things is loving but often strained at times. He finds in them what he found back at home- love, jealousy, rivalry, acceptance...

Let me say that this film looks stunning. The voice acting is brilliant, the writing and directing are sublime and the pace of the movie is measured, but perfectly so. I think the reason that people are slamming this movie is because they are approaching it a kids film, which it isn't. It is an adult film about being a kid, and how hard it could be and how we would often find comfort in make-believe.

In my opinion, this is one of the most affecting films I have seen in years. Complex in so many ways- I am sure that this movie will reveal itself more as you revisit it. Don't go in expecting a fast-paced kiddies adventure movie, but instead look at the previous work of the brilliant Spike Jonze to see how he has grown as a film-maker and yet lost nothing of what made him so great in the firt place. This is a grown-up, sad, sometimes unsettling look at childhood and imagination, and I for one absolutely loved it.

The blu-ray transfer is terrific also. The short film Higgedy Piggedy Pop which is included in the extras is wonderful, and I am looking forward to delving into some of the other extras included on this disc.  Bug DeLug  August 31, 2010