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Wild’ ingenious, not for kids

Maurice Sendak always had a unique vision for his creative children’s books. It’s no surprise that Sendak specifically chose director Spike Jonze to adapt his beloved picture book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ With his own peculiar perspective in the art of film-making, Jonze has provided an already outlandish story with an extended narrative about its strange characters. In the process, he brings a complex meaning to a once simple story.

As you may have guessed by its title, Sendak’s children’s book features grandiose illustrations of monster-like characters. While they are simply figments of an imagination, the wild things are dreamed up by a young boy after being sent to bed by his mother for punishment. What was once a lesson for a poor mannered kid is now a complex study of childhood.

Jonze’s film adaptation adds many elements to the themes of the original source. Before he is ever sent to bed, Max exhibits examples for why he behaves in such a mischievous manner. While living in a family that constantly neglects him, Max is often seen resorting to destructive tactics in order to gain the attention of others. Therefore, we’re filled with the notion that all Max wants is a friend. It is with these troubles that Max is prompted to create his imaginary world of wild friends who constantly vie for his attention.

Fans of the book and even the movie-going public will notice something is amiss for a supposed children’s book adaptation. With themes of loneliness and abandonment, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ creates a dark world along with the bizarre thoughts of a child. Ingeniously, however, the film provides the adult crowd with a unique perspective on what its like to be a kid. When we see how young Max connects the destructive relationships of adults to those of the monsters, adults learn more of a lesson than kids do.

While it’s not the kid-friendly book adaptation you might be expecting, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ manages to infuse a deeper and more poignant take on the troublesome life of a child with the imaginative imagery of a unique artist. Each frame captures the distinctive visions of Sendak with beautiful imagery and intrinsic wonderment. Most of all, it spiritedly composes a wild rumpus.

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