Most know the story of Max, a young boy who gets in trouble after being too rambunctious and is banished to his room by his angry mother. Max’s fantasy life takes over in his timeout as he’s transported to a forest where, indeed, the wild things roam.
This film captures the joy, fear, sweetness, uncertainty, imagination and loneliness of childhood. We watch Max deal with a major shift we must all go through, from being the center of the Universe (a baby) to navigating youth. Spike Jonze wisely chose to use live action performers in costume instead of animation, giving the film the tenseness of reality.
The celebrity voices, which could’ve been distracting, bring warmth and depth to their characters. James Gandolfini (as Carol, the impulsive Wild Thing) and Lauren Ambrose (K.W., Carol’s girlfriend) do a particularly lovely job. If you’re not crying by the time Max finally makes it home safely, you may have a sensitivity chip missing. Don’t worry, it’s not fatal – apparently Brad Pitt isn’t equipped with one either.
The unusual cast of Where The Wild Things Are.
Karen O (lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) provides the music for the film’s soundtrack. She was also Spike’s first girlfriend after his divorce from fellow director, Sofia Coppola.
Girl Skateboards (co-owned by Jonze) released a limited run of boards, featuring WTWTA artwork.
Dave Eggers (author of the fabulous A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) co-wrote the script and released a full-length novel version of WTWTA.
Is it my imagination, or did James Gandolifini look equally as furry on The Sopranos?
Director Spike Jonze does a heart-tugging job of bringing Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book to life in this melancholy film adaptation. You won’t really need more than a toast; you’ll be too engrossed in the film.
Bonus Drinking Game
While not the norm with Toasts at MovieBoozer, we’re always happy to fill special requests. Apparently some folks need the salve of liquor when revisiting childhood memories – and I can’t say I blame ‘em!
Take a drink: every time you wonder if the Wild Things will hug or harm Max.
Take a drink: every time you feel teary and nostalgic. And give yourself a hug!
Take a drink: every time Max wields his benevolent power as king of the Wild Things.
Take a shot: whenever the brilliant Catherine Keener gets some screen time!