Where the Wild Things Are (PG)




Posted on October 15, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 22 at 6:32 PM

A popular children's book about a sad boy and an island full of creatures has been turned into a movie.

Where the Wild Things Are is both beautiful and troubling.

A beautiful work of cinematic art, the film is surprisingly dark and aloof, especially for small children. It is based on Maurice Sendak's wildly popular book about a young boy named Max who retreats into an imaginary world after an argument with his mother. The place is a world filled with freedom and creatures.

Spike Jonze directs the dream-like drama that is so visually eye popping it makes you wonder if it's played out with real-life puppets or computer generation. The answer is both.

James Gandolfini provides the voice of Carol, one of the main creatures in Max's imaginary realm.

But, Where the Wild Things Are is a film that never quite jumps off the screen emotionally, and Max seems too old to behave in the tumultuous manner he does within the film.

The film is rated PG. Despite its family-friendly rating, Sendak's original story is melancholy and mysterious and not for pre-schoolers. It can be an intimidating film.

There is a lot to admire technically about the movie, but it can leave viewers a little disconnected.

E-mail: gcogill@wfaa.com