They roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth…
I feel anxious about the Where the Wild Things Are film. The book is such a favourite of ours and a significant part of the heritage of children’s literature that I would hate for it to be at the very least, a disappointment (A Series of Unfortunate Events – do you have any others you can think of?). Spike Jonze has directed after being approached by Sendak (encouraging), the trailer is on apple and it is also encouraging.
What I think stood out for me is how similar the “wild things” in the trailer are to those in the book. There was overwhelming relief when I knew it wasn’t going to be fully animated (this film has been in the offing since the early 90s, so many discussions on how it should be made have happened). They are actors in 6-8 foot high costumes, with additional animatronics, and computer generated faces all created by the Jim Henson Company (Labyrinth – brilliant!). Apparently they could only film them with their heads on for no longer than 30 minutes at a time before a 10-15 minute break was needed. Those costumes are heavy and hot – I had to go in Walker’s Maisy costume whilst I was working there and believe me, it is not easy – especially if you have children tugging at your tail. The visibility is pretty poor too. Still, they look fantastic in the trailer and for some reason, even with the fully animated children’s films we have now that are so clever and imaginative, there will always be something very special about a physical presence.
Max looks like Max. I hope this translates into his acting, but they’ve definitely got his “wild thing” suit captured! Wake Up (Arcade Fire) for the music certainly helps to set the tone.
So, it opens in October 2009. Milo will be almost a year old then so perhaps a baby cinema session for the both of us. I hope the film captures his heart as much as the book does.