Are you taking your kids to see Where The Wild Things Are?

The much-anticipated Where the Wild Things Are movie opens on Friday, October 16. The film is based on Maurice Sendak's wildly popular book first published in 1963. I would imagine that you remember this story from your own childhood too, right?

I watched the trailer for the film and found it to be intriguing and visually stunning. I definitely want to see it -- but not with my too-young kids.
The reviews
of the movie seem largely positive. The biggest critique seems to
be that the plot is kind of thin -- which is not surprising given that
the entire book is less than 350 words. There are apparently also some
significant departures from the book. Rather than imagine from within
the confines of his room, Max runs away from home. Plus, the Wild
Things have names -- like Ira (not sure I like that idea).

As I
watched the trailer, I wondered whether this is a kid's movie or a
movie about being a kid? Who is the intended audience here? The adults
who grew up reading and loving this book? Or a new audience of children
who might not be as familiar with the story?

I suspect that
the real appeal of this movie is for people of my generation who grew
up reading the book -- and taking their children to the movie theater is an
excuse to see it themselves.

As part of an interview with author
Maurice Sendak and director Spike Jonze in this week's issue of
Newsweek Magazine
, Sendak is asked if he thinks that the film might be too scary
for kids. He replies, "If they can't handle it, go home. Or wet your
pants. Do whatever you like."

Alrighty then.

I think that my five-year-old is too young to see this film (she basically thinks that Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid
are horror flicks). But if I had an older child who was interested in
this story (say eight-years-old or so), I would definitely bring her to see this
movie -- even if some of the scenes might be a bit frightening. Actually, I think that some level of fear is a necessary part of the story.

I am curious to hear what other parents think about this film. Are you bringing your child to see Where the Wild Things Are? Can you hardly wait to show your child what it really means to "let the wild rumpus start?" Or is this movie not for your little wild thing?

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  • This is interesting to me, as a former film student rather than a parent (which, coincidentally I am not), because it never dawned on me that this might be a movie for kids. It's funny to think that a movie based on a celebrated children's book might not be for children at all, but that was my assumption the whole time. When I was young I could have never understood the simple complexities of the story. To be a 5 year old and understand what it truly means to be a 5 year old is impossible to fathom. From what I gather, this is a film about everyone's desire to be able to return to a time in their lives when they could escape the real world with relative ease. Whether a child finds the images scary or not is one thing, but I can promise you no child I know will be able to gleam the necessary message in seeing a film like this. Leave them home; let them escape into their own fantasy's.

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