Little Monsters
Where the Wild Things Are
Review by Ross Anthony

wildthings Like little Max‘s internal struggles, my feelings (about this film) aren’t so easily understood, even to me. I’ll do my best to make sense of them. Let’s see, first there’s a very strong nostalgic emotion. The tender recreations of childhood imagination on film cajole sweet memories, even replay some of that wondrous spirit of “child at play.” The production is truly inspired in this department.

But, my boyhood imagination and that of Max, traipse off in different directions. I found myself a bit reluctant to follow along, frustrated that the story was fixed by Max and that the games I might want to play would be left to his whimsy. It was almost as if I was just another of his playthings. As Carol might complain, “Everything I wanted to happened, didn’t happen!”

wildthings That said, Max’s daydreaming sure scurried up some fun characters with whom to romp. Older viewers will recall HR Puff 'n Stuff or The Banana Splits by Sid and Marty Krofft. Either way, the emotive, expressive puppet faces of these Wild Things are beautifully, lovingly brought to life on screen. Their voices make them all the more real, James Gandolfini’s especially.

The dream drew me in, but as the ending was rather predictable, I felt, at times, stranded in some muddy story on some remote isle. As some of the characters made perfect sense to Max’s stormy predicament, I felt myself confused when they all didn’t.

The climax is sweet and even tugs at the heartstrings, but I kind of wanted the ball to be knocked out of the park. Overall. It’s really an interesting work. I’m not sure it’s for your average kid. If your kids like it, please write in and let me know. I’d love to have that feedback. But, for sure, if you have a stormy kid like Max, then bring your little genius of imagination, slash family tempest to this picture. Maybe you’ll all get lucky, and Max’s epiphany of maturity will transfer.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Where the Wild Things Are. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Paul Dano, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Catherine O'Hara, Max Records, Lauren Ambrose, James Gandolfini. Directed by Spike Jonze. Screenplay by Dave Eggers, Spike Jonze. Produced by Tom Hanks and Maurice Sendak at Warner Bros.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 14-Oct-2009 15:45:40 PDT