Second Look: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are

December 11, 2007
Source: Cinema Blend

Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are

If there is one movie that's bound to win a most creative or most unique award next year, it's Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. It's an adaptation of the beloved children's book by Maurice Sendak and it follows the adventures of Max who creates his own world in his mind inhabited by fabulous wild creatures. Spike Jonze, known for creating some of the most vividly unique music videos on the planet (including Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice", Daft Punk's "Da Funk", and Weezer's "Buddy Holly") is directing his latest film since Adaptation in 2002 and Being John Malkovich in 1999. Curious to see what the creatures will look?

Warner Brothers has released the very first two stills from the movie and they certainly are eye brow raising. The first still was released over the summer, but another one has been added. Apparently Max is an actual actor, but the creatures are a combination of practical puppets and CGI. Most of the film features the giant puppets interacting with Max, and later on the faces will be added via CGI with the voices from other actors, including Forest Whitaker and James Gandolfini.

Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are

Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak's classic book comes to the big screen in an adventure tale for every generation. Where the Wild Things Are follows the adventure of Max (Max Records), a mischievous young boy who is sent to his room after rebelling against his mother (Catherine Keener). Max's imagination is free to roam, and it soon transports him to a thriving forest bordering a vast sea. Delighted, he sets sail for the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns and Max rules. In bringing this imaginative fantasy to life, Jonze leads a team of filmmakers incorporating the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry and computer animation.

Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Spike Jonze and written by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, is currently set to arrive in theaters on October 3rd, 2008.

Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are

Find more posts: First Look, Hype



Ah yes...the customary "turning-a-book-that-took-5-minutes-to-read-into-a-90-minute-film" gang rape of yet another beloved classic. However, this was one of my all-time favorites and I'll see it no matter what the suckage level. Now if only they'd make a "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" would be epic beyond belief.

IHateChildren on Dec 11, 2007


IHateChildren's comment made me laugh, but I think it will be good. Spike Jonze is quite the visionary, and his style fits perfectly with this story. Alex-what the creatures will 😉

Keith on Dec 11, 2007


this looks awesome. a very short childrens book could make for a great movie since you can have all the of story in there. this is a classic and the pictures look amazing. i love love love it when puppets are used over CG. of course, they could do what polar express did and butcher it by adding in lots of un-needed and awful plot lines. but lets hope for this being great.

sarah on Dec 12, 2007


They are making "Cloudy w/ a Chance of Meatballs" into a fully animated CG feature!

Evil that men do on Dec 12, 2007


Really?! Woohoo! I'm hoping it will be like "The Day After Tomorrow" with mashed potatoes (and sans the annoying cast). Though realistically, I'm betting all we'll get it is "An Inconvenient Truth" clone with vegan meatloaf.

IHateChildren on Dec 12, 2007


I watched this film already at a test screener, The characters where huge costume/puppets there was no CG added yet, strings were still attached but the movie was awesome, I can't wait to see the real deal, It will def. be a movie to watch.

new guy on Dec 19, 2007


The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind, and another YAY!!

Mz.Dre' on Dec 19, 2007


WHAT?! No Mike Myers? No Jim Carrey? No Dakota Fanning? How the hell are they going to stuff this down our throats? On the merits of the book and the director? No kidding, I think this might actually work.

Robin on Dec 20, 2007


Aw, Robin's comment made me giggle. I'm super excited about this movie! I think it will be really good. & PS: Are you guys all serious about "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs?" I can't detect sarcasm over the internet.

Colleen on Jan 8, 2008


Oh my god. Are they really turning it into a movie?! That's so gay. The need to come up with their own shit.

Jenny on Jan 11, 2008


Hot tip, it's gonna be fantastic.

miro.bellini on Jan 28, 2008


@IhateChildren Ugh, i love 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'. I really can't see it being adapted though, unless it's a horror / comedy which would probably be hilarious. haha.

Rachel on Jan 30, 2008


this movie will probably be one of the biggest movies of the '08 year for me. growing up i idolized this book and the movie ought to be very amusing after my pre-movie rituals :D....lololololol

Nfizzle on Feb 16, 2008


Jenny, NOBODY makes original movies..they are ALL ripped off from books...

james on Feb 22, 2008


um i think the movies gonna rock. I understand being original and all, but i would love to see things that i loved as a child, put into a different medium or style. i know that the sacramento ballet did "where the wild things are" as a ballet, and that was super cool. theres nothing wrong with taking a classic and exploring the limits that you can push it. like they say history repeats itself, and its has, jus with a modern twist. for example bell bottoms and corder roys? they both came back in style and made a lasting impression. whos to say that the movie wont spark younger people, that havn't experienced the book, to find it and read it? somethings should never be brought back, like rambo? wtf. and im curious about indiana jones. But this was never attempted as a movie. wer'e at a state where the movie makers of america want to see what they loved as a child in a differnt form, and theres nothing wrong with it. i bet EVERYONE will love the movie and it'll become an instant classic amongst adults and children alike.

me on Mar 4, 2008


hi ...i wrote the music to the ballet. it's 40 minutes...we [sendak and septime webre, the choreographer] added so much to it. some of the new scenes became audience favorites. i can say with certainty that sendak would have been all over this....every detail. so that bodes well. could inspire many more ballet performances!!!! maurice is so creative and open minded.

randy woolf on Mar 6, 2008


the movie got bonked on the head, the test screenings had bad reactions and from what i understand theyre going to re-do the whole thing

flynn on Mar 9, 2008


i also read that the studio found spike's version of the movie to be too dark for children, and they could reshoot the entire thing.....however, in a move to show they promote art to all audiences, they should allow his original version to be released on dvd.....i for one, being an adult that read the book as a child, would LOVE to see a darker more adult themed take on the book. why can't it be the best of both worlds??

MachEnergy on May 9, 2008


I can't wait to see it!!! I like Spikes work and this seems to be a diffrent dorection for him....I hope it all works out at the end.... We have this and Saw in October....WOW!

CrypticHill on Jul 15, 2008


Kids movie? Ugh, lets see the dark version. i'd be happy to see both, but the darker would be nice.....

Brad on Sep 2, 2008


Well: I have a 2.5 year old son. I didn't know of the book as a kid ( I know I know, how deprived, I didn't read any Shel Silverstein books either... ) but I must say I am amazed at how instantly my son has taken to the book. It has consistently been his favorite for many months now. He also loves the children's opera version. Both the book and the opera definitely have a dark side... so I have to say I would hate to see that buried and watered down. But on the other hand, the "dark" stuff is really all about the imagination of most little boys (sleighing monsters). We're looking forward to seeing the movie! I am a big Spike Jonze fan, and with Dave Eggers writing the screen play, this should be quite interesting.

paul on Oct 13, 2008


There is an opera based on the Sendak work. I have seen an excerpt on Classic Arts Showcase broadcast over a Los Angeles area educational channel. It is not in either of the two opera books I have. Google has nothing on the opera.

Kenneth Bonnell on Nov 24, 2008


the opera is by oliver knussen. they used that music for the first version of the ballet. olly also made an opera out of 'higgelty piggelty pop.', which i like even more than his wild things.

Randy Woolf on Nov 24, 2008


I'm just waiting for the film version of "Love you forever" starring Nicholas Cage and the $30 million pyrrhotechnic grande finale.

Allen H. on Dec 2, 2008


The book is still magic. I have two copies (bought by good friends who know I haven't grown up). I think if anyone can re-create the magic in this book on film, it's Jonze.

Toby on Dec 22, 2008


Where the Wild Things Are and Higgelty Piggelty Pop will be released on DVD on June 30 from Kultur:

Joe on May 12, 2009


Although this is being heavily marketed as a kid/family movie, I would seriously caution parents of children under 10 (and probably under 13) to avoid this movie or at least be prepared to deal with the issues it raises. The serious adult themes are confusing and inappropriate for little ones. As an adult I found the movie to be quite depressing and a big departure from a beloved children’s classic. Two words: highly disappointed to say the least. We wrote a full review of the film from a parents' perspective right here:

Five Hens on Oct 16, 2009


Five Hens: While you are entitled to your opinions, I believe that you are approaching the movie too much from a protective parent's perspective. Children are capable of handling situations in this movie far more easily that you give them credit. In fact, by exposing children to stressful things in the safety of a movie, they are able to gain the necessary tools to better handle stress in real life. I can tell you that myself and many friends grew up watching The Never Ending Story, The Goonies, Stand By Me, Empire Strikes Back, Legend, The Secret of Nimh, My Girl....etc, and we all had happy well adjusted childhoods. Many of us are now parents and are starting to have to decide what is acceptable for our own children to watch, so I know where you are coming from. This movie allows a child to see where emotions can lead them. This movie shows consequences for letting your anger get the better of you, and that family is more important than they may think it is. If a child is coddled and sheltered from facing real world emotions, they can never learn how to handle them in maturity.

Ryan on Oct 16, 2009


Ryan: I completely appreciate your point of view. I just want to make sure parents know what they're in store for if they take their little ones to see this film.

Five Hens on Oct 16, 2009

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