Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wild things are not for kids

Matt took me to see Where the Wild Things Are last night (the last blast to my birthday celebration). Where the wild things are is where children shouldn't be. I loved the movie but it was certainly not a movie for young children, which I knew beforehand but apparently many parents did not know judging from the number of 3 to 5 year olds in the theatre last night. A quarter of the way into the movie I heard distinctive toddler wailing behind us. Three quarters through the movie a family with young ones made their way to the exit. No, not for kids.

From an adult's point of view, the movie was very well done. It didn't follow the book exactly but it found it's own profound message to tell. Skip the rest of this post if you don't want spoilers.

In a nutshell, the movie tells the story of a young boy who feels some very deep troubles. He feels alone, rejected, disrespected, unheard and under-appreciated. It comes to a boil and he finds himself lashing out at those he loves, which fills him with remorse as much as it temporarily releases some of his pent-up aggression. The release of aggression fails to solve his troubles, driving him to run away from everything and immerse himself in a fantasy where the characters express his inner demons. As he works to fix what is wrong with the world of his fantasy figures he is actually exploring how to fix what is wrong with himself. As he fails to fix things from within his fantasy he matures and learns to accept the wrongs in his real life and sees himself from the vantage point of those he loves–and ran away from. As he externalizes all of the emotions that he previously felt so alone with he comes to understand himself and to appreciate what it has been like for those worrying about him from a step away.

The movie ended well and nearly made me cry. No, not all of the wrongs in life were righted, but but by setting aside self-absorption the unimaginable strength in love could be seen.


Matt also gifted me with several Edward Gorey books which I adore! Thanks Matt. :)


Oh, and I have to present a design to client (at the client's house) today. Wish me luck.


  1. Sounds like a good movie... I've never read the book, but I've heard of it. I always wonder about kids & movies and if parents really do pay attention to ratings. This reminded me of when I saw Borat. There were so many parents with little kids in tow for that movie.

    How did the presentation go and is that weird to have to go to someone's house to present?

  2. The book is very short and full of illustrations. Each page is a gorgeous illustration with minimal narrative text. Here is about a third of the book:
    "The night Max wore his wolf suit
    and made mischief
    of one kind
    and another.
    His mother called him "Wild Thing!"
    and Max said:
    "I'll eat you up!!"
    So he was sent to bed
    without eating anything.
    That very night in Max's room
    a forest grew, and grew, and grew until the ceiling hung with vines
    and the walls became the world all around
    and an ocean tumpled by
    "with a private boat!"
    for Max. And he sailed off through night and day
    and in and out of weeks
    and almost over a year
    to where the wild things are!

    The presentation went very well, no changes to the design at all. I did feel a little weird that the meeting would be at the client's house, but two other people were going with me and it turned out to be in the client's garage, which was a very nice home office anyway. :) I liked it.


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