In IMAX, no less. I slipped this little gem in as a matinee screening before my Sunday at Docfest
Okay, the book is a beautiful piece of childhood escapism that embraces and faces the crazy, angry, wild Id that is a part of everyone, and scarier in kids.
Confession, although I loved the book as a kid I haven't read it in decades. So any comparison I make to the book is inherently flawed. With that said the look of Max and hos wolf costume/pajamas is perfect. The Wild Things, created by the Jim Henson workshop, are straight out of the book. And Spike Jonze did a great job of expanding it to a feature length story without losing the simplicity, sweetness, and heart of the original. The real-world bookends do a great job of setting up the frustrations and fears every child feels (I think it was Bill Maher who mocked the idea of psychiatrists finding trauma in childhood by pointing out "You're little, everyone is bigger than you, and you have no idea what's going on. How hard is it to find trauma in that?") and the lessons he learned by being King of the Wild Things.
The message of the movie--maybe parents would be better parents if they remembered what it's like to be a child (not just childish, but remember how scary it was to be a child) and maybe children would be better children if they knew how hard it was to be a parent. On the other hand, I'm neither a parent nor a child, just a very childish middle-aged dude. So what the hell do I know?