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Review: 'Where the Wild Things Are'

October 12, 2009

An illustrated children's book that consists of nine sentences and 20 pages does not immediately suggest a feature film adaptation. Nonetheless, Spike Jonze has fearlessly plunged ahead to weave whimsical movie magic to bring Maurice Sendak's 1963 "Where the Wild Things Are" to the screen.

The story, as millions of children and grown children know, tells of a rambunctious boy, sent to bed without his supper, who then encounters fearsome-looking but surprisingly gentle creatures when his bedroom turns into a mysterious forest. The film does surmount one of its two difficult challenges: Through puppetry and computer animation, the filmmaking teams have successfully put a world of childhood imagination on the screen. Where the film falters is Jonze and novelist Dave Eggers' adaptation, which fails to invest this world with strong emotions.

Children might enjoy the goofy monsters and their fights and squabbles, but adults likely are to grow weary of the repetitiveness. Read More