Directed by Spike Jonze
Starring Newcomer Max Records as Max, Catherine Keener as Max's mom, and the voice talents of folks such as Forest Whitaker and Catherine O'Hara for the big furry whatchamacallits populating Max's imagination
Synopsis If you've never read Maurice Sendak's book, shame on you
Brought to You By A Sendak-chosen Jonze and the fine folks at The Jim Henson Company
Expected Release Date October 16th, 2009
JA: I was looking forward to this because a new Spike Jonze movie is always something to anticipate and this was one of my favorite books as a kid. But then I found out a bunch of wussy kids bawled at a screening, and suddenly I was REALLY looking forward to this. Like Coraline there's really nothing that toots my horn like entertainment aimed at children that's filled with nightmare-fodder. Some of my happiest memories are of my earliest encounters with monsters, and I love it when artists have the guts to recognize that kids do not always need the kiddie gloves. Sometimes a good healthy scare is just what the doctor ordered.
Nathaniel: And can we break right there to say how amazing is Coraline? I hope we're all in agreement. It's so beautiful / creepy / funny / weird and subtly trusting of its young (and old) audience. And if I can ever get out from under Oscar season I shall have to speak of it!
I have naturally even higher expectations for Where the Wild Things Are since the book is so embedded in my brain and since Jonze is a favorite filmmaker. Literary fantasies need visionaries like him or Henry Selick if they're to be adapted at all. If this is as strong as Coraline I'll be pleased but if it's better we'll have a new classic on our hands. A classic with fur, horns and tails. If it's that good perhaps it can wipe away those unpleasant memories of all the children's fantasies we've been seeing for years that think CGI and imagination are interchangeable nouns.
Whitney: I'm so curious to see how they make a 25 (or so) page picture book into a feature length film. Judging by the stills, this will be that perfect throwback to 80s childrens films that all of us 20-somethings have been waiting for, while still being entirely original. I'm excited to see what Jonze can do.
Fox: I love Spike Jonze, I love giant p(m)uppets, and I love that the child actors name in this movie is Max Records. The fact that it's also about childhood imagination and that Jonze has a great track record of visually interpreting the tracks of the mind (the way he did when Catherine Keener chased Cameron Diaz through John Malkovich's head) has had me "can't waiting" for what feels like three years now.
Nathaniel: Three years? It is the perfect candidate for "we can't wait". It's felt like decades of waiting. Come to me now new film. Come to me now. I once painted the characters from the book all huge like for a corporate event (long story and pre-Film Experience days). I kept them in my room for well over a year after the event because I loved them so much. Big fuzzy loveable monstrous things.
Did you grow up loving this book? If not, what's your favorite childhood book. I was obsessed with this one called The King With Six Friends but I rarely meet people who know that one.
In case you missed any entries they went like so...
We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed, #10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)