Newest Review: ... it into an hour and a half film I was intrigued to see what they had added and how they had changed things. They have added a considera... more
Let the wild rumpus begin
Where The Wild Things Are (DVD)
Member Name: walsha11
Where The Wild Things Are (DVD)
Advantages: based on a great book, beautifully filmed, captures the essence of the book.
Disadvantages: adapts original story, brown colour
I bought this a few weeks ago in Asda for £3. I was on a bit of a DVD buying spree and because this was so cheap and I love the book by Maurice Sendak I thought I would give it a go.
If you don't know the picture book of the same name then read my review for it to give you a little bit more on an insight. I will just briefly detail the plot though, which centres around a young boy called Max who is making mischief at home. His mother sends him to bed with no dinner and he goes to him room. Quickly a wild forest and sea begin to grow out of his imagination and span across his room. Max, dressed in a wolf costume, decides to sail away to the land of the wild things. The land is filled with fearsome wild things but Max is fearless and soon, proving his bravery, becomes their King. After having what looks like a really fun rumpus Max leaves to go back home and finds his dinner waiting for him, still hot.
There isn't a huge amount of storyline in the book so when I heard they had made it into an hour and a half film I was intrigued to see what they had added and how they had changed things. They have added a considerable amount to the plot to pad it out which I think is necessary but in doing so does not stay entirely faithful to the book or the message it projects.
So the plot goes as follows. Max is a lonely boy with an over-active imagination. The beginning of the film is mostly him causing mischief, which culminates in his biting his mum. His mum shouts at him and Max runs out of the house scared all the way to a tiny pond where he finds a small boat. The pond soon unravels into an ocean which Max sails across to reach the land of the wild things. Upon disembarking he soon stumbles across a group of large and scary looking creatures. One of the wild things, Carol, is throwing a tantrum sparked by another wild thing leaving, K.W. Max tries to join in with the mayhem but soon finds the wild things looking angrily down at him. To get out of this situation Max convinces them that he is a King who is also magic and that his powers can help to calm the group and restore peace. Max is crowned king and soon after K.W returns and they have a wild rumpus in the forest.
Max decides to build an enormous fort and puts Carol in charge of building it. K.W tries to bring her two owl friends to the fort and Carol is upset by the presence of these outsiders. Tension increases between the wild things, who battle for Max's affections and believe he treats them differently. Eventually Carol and K.W have an argument and K.W leaves. Eventually Max's secret, that he is not a king at all, is revealed and Carol is devastated. The arguments between the wild things help Max to realise what is going on at home and how he could alleviate the situation for his stressed out mother. He decides to travel back home, he cannot find Carol and so leaves him a token (a heart with a C inside made from twigs). Carol sees the token just before Max departs and runs to bid him farewell, they all begins to howl as Max sails away. Max returns home to find his dinner on the table, still hot, and his mother waiting for him.
The plot is essentially the same, though they have created a narrative for the time that Max spends on the island which is far briefer in the picture book. I think this is fairly essential to make this film the length it is, though whether it stays true to the story is a slight bone of contention for me. I do think that they have extended the ideas present in the book and in some way captured many of the important elements.
My only real issue is that because of the wild things being brown, and much of it being shot in the forest the predominant colour in the film is brown. In the book this is very much not the case, there are a whole selection of vibrant colours and I think this helps to create the dreamlike quality present in the book. That said, I did find the film enjoyable to watch and if I was using the book in school I would definitely accompany it with the film as I think it adds another interesting dimensions to an established and well loved story.
A great film that cost me only £3 - I would recommend it if you love the book or if you've never heard of it.
Summary: A great kids film with a heart.