"Wild Thing," You Make My Heart Sing

After spending innumerable hours staring at the poster for Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" -- which has very easily claimed its place once again at the top of my most anticipated list for this or any year, as I mentioned before -- and holding it up for evaluation next to some images from the book, I have to say I'm relieved and elated that Jonze and Co. have maintained stylistic fidelity -- notice those scales (or feathers?) on Carol's (James Gandolfini) legs, and the striping of the fur -- as well as the original scale of the Wild Things in relation to little Max (Max Records, a definite contender for coolest name ever). Anyone ever notice that, although the Wild Things are giants next to their young king, they would really be as tall as (or a little taller than), say, Max's mother (Catherine Keener) if they entered our reality. This was probably intended by Maurice Sendak, and it's a minute visual element that's actually very thoughtful. The physical manifestation of subconscious feelings, or the distortion of authority figures into villains. Like the casting of Jason Isaacs in "Peter Pan" (2003) as both Mr. Darling and Captain James Hook, which was an excellent touch to that adaptation, as bland as that movie was as a whole. And with these new photos, it's with enormous glee that I can say that Jonze has really outdid himself in making these creatures expressive, larger-than-life and utterly huggable. I'm eager to see the translations of Douglas the chicken-thing (Chris Cooper) and Alexander the goat-thing (Paul Dano).

Jonze: "As a kid, I just connected to it. I wanted to hear it over and over. It's like trying to explain why you love somebody. To me, the Wild Things are both cuddly and dangerous. I wanted to climb atop of them like Max."

Catherine Keener on Jonze: "Spike has such an incredible imagination, and this is very much a work of imagination. And there is so much room to apply your own."

Jonze on Sendak and the process of adapting the book: "He was adamant that I make my own thing. He had strong opinions, but he would ultimately defer to us. He said, 'Make something personal to you.' "

Jonze on the tone of the film: "I never thought of it as a children's movie. My intention was to be true to how it felt to be 9 years old. Maurice's whole thing is to be honest. You can say anything to kids as long as you are respectful and not pandering"

There are a couple more incredible photos from the film at USA Today for a total of twelve, and they come packaged with some more great quotes from Jonze, the producers, even young Max himself. I'm so brimming with excitement over the trailer -- which features only one line of dialogue and the musical stylings of the Arcade Fire (track: "Wake Up") -- that I don't even care anymore that "Monsters vs. Aliens" has gotten some deadening reviews and might not be worth admission.

Do these images make your heart flutter?

IMAGES from: Slashfilm and Cinematical


  1. The second pic looked awesome. And the third one, the monster looks so sweet. In a really sincere kind of way. I don't know...maybe it's just me. The last one though... it'll break your heart!

    Can't wait for it to come out! And the release month is the PERFECT month for it. Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season. (I think you told me october)

  2. I was drooling when I saw the trailer... "Where the Wild Things Are" is one of my favorite children books, and I can't wait to see the movie. I love the art-direction that Spike Jonze is approaching with this movie--the vibe, the atmosphere, the essence of it all seems so sincere. I especially love what he had to say about children and honesty... I feel that children appreciate honesty, no matter what form it's in, even if it's incomprehensible, lol.