Forest Whitaker (wild thing), James Gandolfini (wild thing), Catherine Keener (mum), Max Records (kid)
What’s it about?
Based on a book of the same name that’s sold over 19 million copies, Where The Wild Things Are is about a kid called Max who’s a sweet little fellow who loves playing outside, digging himself little igloos, chucking his pet dog about, putting on his lion costume and making up stories about creatures in far away lands. Unfortunately, Max is a bit of a loner, a bit of an outsider and a bit misunderstood. He's bullied by his sister's friends and gets in trouble for doing things like standing on the kitchen table and shouting “feed me woman!” at his mum. It’s very funny, but she doesn’t think so. Max runs away from his angry mum, hops on a boat and lands in magical land that’s quite literally where the wild things are. Max can’t believe his luck.
What’s good about it?
The wild things are impressively big, seem pleasingly real and look as cuddly and furry as you would expect. As is the nature of wild animals, they’re not afraid to eat humans and are prone to going mental, as Max begins to slowly find out, but they epitomise the fantasies kids have about living happily with a load of animals and, in Max’s case, becoming their king. The soundtrack, written by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, deserves a nod, and it’s all directed by the king of the genius weirdoes Spike Jonze, who has more imagination than a conference with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and their big-name actor buddies.
What’s bad about it?
If you’re not a kid and/or don't like like films for kids, you might struggle. It has dark moments and is definitely not dumb, but there are no explosive special effects, nudity, drugs or death. It is, however, just as much fun as The Goonies and every bit as otherworldly as The Chronicles of Narnia.
Like a classic snooker final: some people won’t get it, but those that do will think it’s glorious.