Relive One’s Childhood with ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

by Wade McGrath
Staff

“Let the wild rumpus start!” And that’s just what happens as “Where the Wild Things Are” takes viewers through a tale of innocence, companionship, adventure, betrayal, loneliness and love.

impawards.comA powerful and heart-wrenching plot sends you back to the days of youth when one wished to be the ruler of his or her own dominion. Lovable but realistic characters allow audiences to empathize with the situations with which the main character is faced. They remind viewers of their own humanity and the fact that people make mistakes, no matter how much we try.

The movie is heavily based on the emotion and psyche of youth, explaining the subtle intricacies of the childhood mind. The story ignores convention and continuity, making sure the message is more important than a sensible plot or explanations.

In this film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s famous book by the same name, Spike Jonze (Director) takes viewers on a wild journey that begins in the home of Max (Max Records).

Max is a rowdy, loud, imaginative boy who lives with his older sister and his mother. His parents are divorced and Max’s mom has started seeing other people, which has left the boy vying for his family’s attention – as anyone who’s suffered through a divorce can tell you.

His home situation erupts when an argument with his mother turns violent and he runs away. Max finds a small boat in a nearby body of water. Without giving it a second thought, he sails away.

Max eventually finds himself in a chaotic ocean that threatens to throw him overboard, or worse, destroy his only means of conveyance. However, before any tragedy can befall him, he finds his way to shore on an island that is decidedly not deserted.

Our protagonist climbs a cliff to find himself staring at a plethora of strange and enormous beasts engaged in conversation. Just before the creatures decide to eat him, Max invents a past for himself that includes an embellishment (or two) of his abilities, which frightens the large beasts into making him their king.

The newly crowned boy spends the majority of the movie in this fantasy land, attempting to turn this world into his ideal play-place where nothing bad ever happens. But he quickly learns that these creatures are no different from humans in their ability to perpetuate drama, even if unintentionally.

When he finds out just how hard it is to be a good king and keep everyone happy, Max is thrown into a situation that he had already deliberately run away from once.

The book was a simple 48 pages, comprised largely of illustration, that saw Max through a similar journey, but it was much faster and could not delve into the complex relationships between the creatures themselves, which is what the movie focuses on.

A visual masterpiece and a tearful story is what you’re paying for, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who still remembers what it was like to be a child. I recommend it to anyone who wants to remember what it was like to be a child. I recommend it to any parent who can’t figure his or her child out. I recommend it because, despite being a fantasy, it encompasses everything that is real in a child’s mind.

This movie’s significance and scope cannot be overstated because it relays some of the most important and simple facts about familial love in the world. Facts that are all too often forgotten when they should be at the forefront of our minds.

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