Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maurice Sendak to Worried Parents...

"...go to hell."

From all the previews I have seen, I have been of the mindset that Eggers and Jonze missed the point of the children's book. All the talk of "heartwarming" and all the imagery of innocence were essentially shouting at me that the movie missed the dark aspects of the book.

Let's face it, the book is about a kid who "is wearing his wolf suit" and gets sent to bed without supper because of his bad behavior. The kid then spends 90% of the book reveling in his anger, so much so that he becomes the "Wildest Thing of All." Whether the suit is something he is actually wearing or a visual metaphor for the child's incorrigibility isn't clear, and doesn't matter. The point is that the kid is so angry that monsters think of him as their king.

Additionally, these monsters -- who represent the child's anger -- affectionately call out that they will eat him up if he returns to them and doesn't go to where he is loved. He will literally/figuratively be "consumed" by anger if he doesn't seek out the love of his family. WOW! That kid is one hate filled child.

Very different from the one portrayed in the previews.

Seeing stuffed monsters that look like fat versions of the Velveteen Rabbit didn't instill in me any sense that the film captured that kind of anger, and it still doesn't.

I'll watch the movie in full to see if Eggers and Jonze really did miss the point, but it is clear that Maurice Sendak came to the interview with his Wolf Suit on and has no plans of going home.

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