Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I've been reading the book to children for years; first to my nieces and nephews and then to Paul and the kids at school. So I had to go and see the new movie "Where the Wild Things Are" based on Maurice Sendak's book. The movie opens without any titles or credits, but with face-paced footage of Max chasing his dog down the stairs and through the house....immediately setting up the theme that resonated with me the most: kids love being wild. The book lays out this idea but closes by bringing Max home from his wild life where he finds his supper waiting for him "and it was still warm." How perfect to be wild and also be able to come back to the safety of home. The movie adds other themes, especially of loneliness, but I found these a distraction from the main idea of the book. Seeing Max revel in having fun with the Wild Things and being their King reminded me of the importance of letting kids have this kind of experience rather than always wanting them to "grow up." I left the movie eager to get home to my own wild son so we could have a "wild rumpus"-- in our case, a tickle fight--before he went to bed.

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