Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of those picture books that never gets old. Just about everyone I know read it at least once when they were young and still loves it now. I have to admit I found it too scary when I was little, but that’s just me — I never did like scary books or scary movies. Still don’t.
Anyway, on October 16th, Where the Wild Things Are is being released as a movie (rated PG) that does not look too scary. And there is a video game for ages 10 and up (Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii) that actually looks pretty cool.
Max Records plays the part of Max in the movie. His favorite scene was the dirt clod battle with the Wild Things. He says, “It’s practically a minefield because all these dirt clods are being thrown and just exploding on the ground. The special effects team had hidden little explosives in the leaves and all around me was ‘boom, boom, boom.’” His least-favorite scene was when Max has to slide through the giant mouth of one of the Wild Things and into its slimy stomach where he was slathered in “slime that smelled like rotten lemons.” Ewww!
And what about those nine-feet tall monsters? They took eight months to build, and there is a person inside each one controlling the monster’s movements! The only part of the Wild Things that is digitally enhanced is their faces. Computer animation was used to create their facial expressions
to make them look more lifelike. Their voices were recorded separately like for an animated movie. When they recorded that dirt clod battle, the actors actually threw stale bread rolls at each other and hit each other with styrofoam logs to get into it! Actor James Gandolfini recorded the voice of the monster, Carol, and makes it sound like a blast. He says, “It was very physical. We were running around and beating each other up and making ridiculous noises.” I love that image of grown-ups running around on a stage acting like Wild Things! Can you imagine your teachers doing that? Hilarious.
So are you excited to see this movie? I can’t wait. As Max would say, “Let the wild rumpus start!”
—Sonja, STACKS Staffer
Trailer courtesy of Warner Bros.
Photos by Matt Nettheim, courtesy of Warner Bros.