Glowing Early Review of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated October 23rd, 2012 at 12:08 am,

wild things early review Glowing Early Review of Where the Wild Things Are

Our friend Harry Knowles over at Ain’t It Cool News has given the Spike Jonze film adaptation of the eponymous 1963 children’s book Where The Wild Things Are a glowing review.  Check out just one bit of praise they give give the film:

“…it could very well be the best film ever created about what it is like to be a 9 year old…it will conjure up primal childhood emotions of joy, regret, elation, confusion and you may realize that you’ve lost an awful lot, by simply growing up.”

Wow, to call that review “glowing” is an understatement!

The full review from AICN suggests the film, unlike almost every other, fulfills every wish that floods the mind when you imagine what Where the Wild Things Are could be.  On the other hand, it sets the bar really, really, high before even stepping into the theater.  Rarely is that a good thing. Lines from the review, like “It made me remember the way I looked at my mother when I was 9 years old.” make you think the movie’s achieved a lot more than some visual magic with monsters most of us lovingly remember.  These days, my standards are low enough that I would have been satisfied with merely that.  I would argue that the best a film can do, actually, is change our perspective, if only temporarily, on our ourselves and our environments.  Could Where the Wild Things Are do just that?

The original award-winning book, written by Maurice Sendak, follows young Max as he misbehaves at home before dinner, causing his mother to send him to his room without eating.  While there, an untamed forest and sea grow out of his imagination and he sails off to the land of the fearsome Wild Things.  I’ll hold off on more plot description for those who don’t already know (or forget) what happens next.

where the wild things are poster3 Glowing Early Review of Where the Wild Things Are

click poster for larger version

Turning a book that’s only nine sentences long into a feature-length film is a feat unto itself, but I suspect Jonze and Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity) were up to the task as script writers.  Jim Henson’s Creature Shop is providing the animatronic suits for the film and judging by every muppet movie I’ve ever seen, as well as the posters for this film (see above), their involvement certainly didn’t hurt the production.  Spike Jonze has worked on films all over the spectrum, from Being John Malkovich to Jackass: Number Two.  I’m curious to see what he brings to the table as the director.

The full review AICN review puts this movie (for now) squarely in the “extremely well-hyped” category.  For some worst-case scenario fun, I’ll ask: What was the most miserable, but critically beloved movie you ever saw?

Where the Wild Things Are will hit theaters October 16, 2009.

Source: Ain’t It Cool

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  1. This film may very well be the definitive movie for every person that read this book as a child. The trailer alone moves me to tears. The film may end up being my favorite film made in my lifetime. I might be biased, but that’s how strongly I feel about this book, now a film.

  2. I saw one bad review I think. I saw it, but didn’t read it. It could have just said how you can’t turn it into a film.

    I can’t wait for this though. My favorite book as a kid. The trailer got my eyes welled up. I am going to see it this coming weekend. Sadly probably not opening night, but I will see it this weekend.

  3. I never read the book but I love Spike Jonze. Hopefully I’ll like it.

    Funny enough, I was listening to Adam Corrolla’s podcast and he was completely going off on the book and how much it sucks and that the author is a complete hack. Really funny stuff and some truth to it (no offense people, but the “kids” books are really complete garbage, at least in the US)

  4. I am so thrilled that this movie is garnering positive reviews. It seems that Jonze is doing well by the book! I was so concerned that this movie may have inevitably destroyed a childhood classic, but instead, review after review is surprising me!

  5. I’ll be seeing this in a few hours – hope it’s good.


  6. I doubt Where the Wild Things Are, which is sure to be brilliant, is going to “change your perspective”. It’s not a “message” movie. It’s a movie about childhood. It’s not going to tell you anything you don’t already know, deep down. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic in doing so.

  7. “(no offense people, but the “kids” books are really complete garbage, at least in the US)”

    To wholly dismiss an entire portion of literature like this only proves ignorance.

  8. Not dismissing it, just saying it’s not for me or my kids.

  9. Why, sure, I think I’ll listen to a guy whose biggest claim to fame is “The Man Show” when he calls somebody else a hack. Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do, right after this monkey flies out of my ass.

  10. I wouldn’t give to much weight to what Harry has to say about the film. He tends to really surprise me, quite often, on his reviews of films. His tastes are a bit quirky.

  11. Hey guys, I saw this last night and it was WONDERFUL.


  12. Stephen, actually his biggest claim to fame would be Love Line. I recommend you, and everyone else, give the podcast a try as it is one of the best out there. Corolla’s rants and opinions are really commonsensical, something that is being lost in US and especially in CA and Los Angeles.

    Anyway, did not mean to get off subject.

    I have come to trust Spike Jonze as a director. I’m pretty sure I’ll love the movie.

  13. Well I took my family to see the primier of this movie tonight and I have to say that I would have much rather stuck with the classic book version. I was not at all impressed and my 7 yr old daughter and 10 year old son were bored and asking to go home. I am glad my money was only wasted on popcorn and soda as out tickets were free.

  14. @mandy

    You know it’s interesting you say that – I was talking to some fellow reviewers today and the consensus was that this is a movie for grown-ups and NOT for kids. It’s aimed at adults to remind them what it was like to be a child and have that unfettered imagination.

    So yes, I’m wondering how this is going to do over the next couple of weeks.


  15. Even if it were for adults and NOT kids, it bored me as well. I didn’t “get anything out of it”. Don’t let my opinions dissapoint everyone though, I just thought I’d share them since we watched the movie. Looking forward to seeing if it’s just me or others feel the same.