Friday, July 23, 2010

Books Versus Feature Films

Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

There are very few similarities between the book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak and the film of the same name. I would definitely recommend the book, but not the film.

I have always loved the children’s book with its creative tale and colorful illustrations, and I use it to teach an art lesson each year. However, I did not care for the movie. In both the book and the film, there was the boy, Max in his wolf suit, who travels to an island where the “wild things” make him their king. But, this is where the similarities end.

The book is warm, funny, and entertaining. It is a sweet tale of an imaginative little boy who playfully misbehaves and is sent to his room without supper. There he pretends to travel to an island and have a rumpus with the wild things! Once his pretending is done, he is back safe in his bedroom where his supper is waiting for him.

The movie has a much darker side. Max is sent to his room after being excessively rough with the dog, throwing a tantrum and biting his mother! The film version of Max’s time on the island is filled with arguing, fighting, and other forms of physical violence. The different wild things are pitted against one another from time to time, and at one point, one of the characters threatens to eat Max.

Overall, I feel that the book is a wonderful children’s story, but the film version is disappointing and not worthy of the book.

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