Thursday, December 10, 2009

where the wild things are

This is me in my Max suit. As you can see I'm having a lot of fun! I've always loved the book Where the Wild Things Are. I love Max! What kid hasn't been a wild thing at one time or another? Pushing the boundaries, having an adult say enough and go to your room. After a while in there, just wanting to be loved even if you are a wild thing. Then finding that your Mum is there, still loving you despite your wild thing tendencies!!

Where the Wild Things Are won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year in 1964. Yes, over forty years ago! Talk to a group of adults about children's books they loved growing up and so many will say Where the Wild Things Are. And it is still beloved by children today! I've read it quite a few times to kids in my Max suit. They love it! After the reading we have a wild rumpus and they all roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes and show their terrible claws..... What fun!

Last Friday I went to see the movie. In our house we have followed the making of it quite closely and have eagerly anticipated it's arrival in NZ. It's been on in the States for ages. I really wanted to love it! As an objective movie watcher, I did like it bit felt it dragged a little in the middle. As a Where the Wild Things Are fan there were lots of things about it that I loved. I loved how the wild things were portrayed. They were so believable. Excellent puppet mastery from the Jim Henson crew. They were so childlike with their idocyncracies and whineyness, just saying everything and anything that comes into their heads. They were so happy to smash others in the head with giant mud clods but cried out when they were hit that it wasn't fair, that hurt, they weren't ready and that they 're not going to play anymore. Big kids! They had regular kid names like Carol, KW, Judith......

I loved Carol. So appropriately voiced by James Gandolfini. So conflicted, "cutting off his nose to spite his face" as my Mum would say. Loving Max so much but hitting out in that irrational, self destructive, childlike way. I cried when Max left the wild things, holding my breath and hoping that Carol made it in time to say goodbye and show Max how much he loved him. I loved it how KW whispered the line,"Oh please don't go - I'll eat you up - I love you so!" to Max with such tenderness. I love the inspired Karen O soundtrack. "All is love" gives me tingles!

So I did love it because it engaged me. I became childlike in my expectations and enjoyment of the movie. Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator of the book, liked the movie. He said that it captured the heart of the book. It did! Max summed it up when he said "I wish you guys had a Mum". The unconditional love of your Mum, regardless of your behaviour, is an overriding theme in the book. Where the Wild Things Are..... Go see it. Let down your adult facade, embrace your inner wild thing and enjoy!!

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