Where the Wild Things Are

March 24, 2010 at 11:45 am (TV/movie review)

I love the book. Very much.

The movie was brilliantly acted by the child lead – he actually outshone the adults (human or otherwise) and was perfect in every frame. It was also visually beautiful, and the suits for the wild things were amazing and unique.

I hated this movie with a fiery passion. In fact, I went all gooshy when my husband turned to me and said, “Let’s never ever watch that again.”

I know people who love the movie, and it’s certainly not like anything else ever made. But I wouldn’t show it to children. “Some scary scenes” just doesn’t describe it.

Apart from having almost no plot at all, this movie is incredibly disturbing. The basic plot is that a child is unhappy and goes on an imaginative journey, then decides that reality is okay after all.

Leaving aside the depressing reality of how legitimately lonely the child is (remember high school?), the imaginative adventure consists entirely of meeting with large creatures that all represent parts of the child’s very, VERY fractured psyche. One is simply ignored – all the time. Another is an emotionally manipulative mum-like figure who may leave at any time but can’t articulate why. Another gets its arm ripped off. Yet another is deeply depressed. Several mouth adult phrases about being considerate to others, which are incredibly creepy in that context. The one most like the child constantly erupts in inexplicable and destructive fits of rage.

The child attempts to make a functional family, and eventually realises that all they really want is someone new to eat.

Childhood is a frightening, lonely, unstable, angry time. This movie reminded me of that. I hope that someday I’ll be able to forget.

In other news, I wrote a post today on http://twittertales.wordpress.com about how to have a totally free wedding. And my program of daily awesomeness begins over there at twittertales tomorrow (after I post the complete story of “Dr Yes”, since it also ends tomorrow).



  1. Ben (Crispin) said,

    Yes, it’s always bugged me that the main moral of most kid’s ‘Magical Adventure’ stories is: “The people at home might mistreat you horribly, but you HAVE to stay with them, because everyone else in every other place in the universe secretly wants to kill you”

  2. Barbara Banks said,

    Childhood is like that for so many kids. Reminds us all what a big responsibility it is to be a parent and how it is so important to try to make each little one’s childhood as wonderful and as stable as it can possibly be. One of my kids lost his mum this week in very sad circumstances. Tough.

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