Where the Wild Things Are: Ultra-creative filmmaker Spike Jonze adopts the beloved children's book that was penned in 1963 by Maurice Sendak. Considering that the source material is less than 350 words cover-to-cover, one might wonder if there is enough substance to fill a 95 minute feature film. There is no need to worry, Spike Jonze does an amazing job of staying true to the spirit of the book while expanding the adventure! The story begins with Max (played tremendously by newcomer Max Records) playing outside his house with neighborhood kids. In just a few minutes of screen time we get an understanding of Max's high energy level, be it running around destroying things or crumbling down emotionally when things do not work out for him. Also explained in the opening moments of the film is the dynamic family situation Max finds himself involved in and how he perceives it. After angering his mom one night while she has a new boyfriend over, Max runs outside of his house and into the land of the Wild Things. It is here where the film impresses the most. I found it astonishing how well the film captured the wonderment of a child's imagination. The movie does not spoon feed you the correlation between the real world and Max's imaginative world. Instead, it does it very subtly and extremely beautifully. Accompanying Jonze's fantastic images is a haunting musical score that heightens the movie's emotions. Because the film is ultimately an exploration of imagination, I suspect that younger viewers will not find the film all that captivating. However for me, a young man that is a kid at heart, this is one of the year's best!!
Ry's Rating: B+
If this movie had parents they would be: The Never Ending Story & Finding Neverland
With a runtime of 98 minutes
this film is rated PG