“Where the Wild Things Are” Disappoints


Where the Wild Things Are, the children’s book that many Leesville students grew up with, came to life on the big screen last weekend. Although many people were looking forward to seeing the movie, I had low expectations for what a director could do to turn a ten sentence picture book into an hour and a half long movie. Not only did the movie fail to surpass my expectations, it was worse than I imagined.

The movie seemed much too long, and although I appreciate how hard it must have been for the director to turn an extremely short book into a feature film, I do not think that feat should have been attempted in the first place. I kept checking the time on my phone, hoping that the movie would be over soon, but it just kept rolling. A long film with an interesting storyline might be able to keep my attention, but there was no discernable problem that needed to be solved in Where the Wild Things Are, and therefore no reason for me to wish to keep watching.

As there is no real plot in the book – a boy goes to an island and becomes king of the Wild Things, before returning home, all in the span of less than an hour – the director had to take many creative liberties in order to try to make Wild Things a movie worth watching. He had the opportunity to virtually come up with a whole new story, which could have made for an interesting movie; albeit one that does not follow the book.

However, the movie has no real plot either. Max, the main character, declares “Let the wild rumpus start!” and the rest of the film seems like just that – a wild rumpus of random scenes, conflicts between the characters, and the building of a giant fort. The entire movie is a non sequitur; a mash-up of random scenes that the director intended to be funny, including a dirt-clod fight, the smashing of the Wild Things’ houses, and a discussion between a Wild Thing, and Max, during which Max is residing in the Wild Thing’s stomach.

Despite making no sense as a movie – each scene could have stood alone, needing nothing before or after it to clarify what was going on – Where the Wild Things Are was incredibly accurate in its physical portrayal of the Wild Things. After seeing the movie, I looked back at the book and was surprised to see that each Wild Thing was on point with its literary rendition, down to the last details.

At least the director got one thing right.


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