Where The Wild Things Are


Guest blogger Mike MacIntosh lives in a tunnel that runs beneath Sunset Blvd, coming out only in the pre-dawn hours to hunt for twigs and berries.


Wild Things

I’ll just start with this: I’m sorry.

Okay, that’s done. Now this: The children’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is not as good as you think it is. It’s just not. It’s a kid’s book that works just fine for a kid, but it is exactly that. A kid’s book. I appreciate the nostalgic value it may hold for some of you, but stop trying to convince me, and yourself, it’s a literary classic. It’s approximately 10 sentences about a kid who is a brat, he gets expelled to his room, he goes to hang out with his imaginary monsters, then in the end he gets cookies or a sandwich or whatever. The end. Don’t look much more into it because that’s all it is. There was no intended psychoanalyzing of anger, there is no Freudian or colonialist angle, it was just a book written by some dude for kids to read. Even the exceptionally original art was a happy accident. Did you know that Sendak originally wanted the monsters to be horses, but he realized he couldn’t draw horses for dick? Genius, huh?

Well, apparently a bunch of stupid parents are upset that the movie doesn’t entertain their even stupider kids:

“It was joyless. There were maybe 15 minutes of the hour and a half that my kids were into it,” said James Griffioen of Detroit, Michigan.

His 4-year-old daughter asked, “Why is this movie so sad?” in the middle of their family’s matinee viewing, while his son, a 20-month-old who normally can’t get enough of the 1963 children’s classic, was simply bored, he told CNN.

He’s surprised his 20-month-old was bored? A 20-month-old could get bored with a puppy and a lollipop, let alone sitting in a dark movie theater watching a David Eggers/Spike Jonze film. And for the record, getting 15 minutes of entertainment out of a movie is a huge success these days.

“I think the book is almost designed for the 1-to-4 age group,” said Griffioen, 31. “The text is so simple, and it fits in with the other books that are appropriate for that age level, which is why the movie is so strange because it seemed much more dedicated to the 8-to-12 age group.”

You are absolutely correct, Griffioen, the book is designed for 1-to-4 year olds, not 31-year-old hipsters. However, if you want to see a movie made for 1-to-4 year olds, then maybe you should rent ‘Veggie Tales’ or ‘Teletubbies’. Did I mention that the movie was made by David Eggers & Spike Jonze? Oh, right, I did.

“As someone who reads that book to his kid every day, I wanted it to be a movie he could be thrilled about. I think there almost wasn’t enough of a fear element — there was never a moment when my [20-month-old] was crying.”

Wait, what?! You wanted your child to be so afraid of the movie that he burst into tears? You must be the same guy I was sitting next to with his 6-year-old when I saw ‘Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects’.

For Devon Adams in Chandler, Arizona, the problem wasn’t keeping his 5-year-old daughter, Claire, interested — it was dealing with the aftermath of the violent scenes.

“She and her friend seemed to enjoy the film, but when she returned home, she threw her own tantrum, bit her mother very hard (something she does not do), and told her she was going to run away from home and go to where the wild things are,” Adams said.

Mr. Adams, the movie isn’t your problem. Your child is simply an asshole. You need to sit her down, explain to her that biting her mother is not acceptable unless she is a zombie and if that’s the case you will need to remove her head from her body. Then make her understand that the wild things in the movie are fictional, but the factual wild things are called molesters and she’s more than welcome to go with them if she wants.


5 thoughts on “Where The Wild Things Are

  1. “His 20-month-old, who hasn’t yet developed the cranial capacity to understand that when small objects are moved behind larger objects they haven’t ceased to exist, seemed bored at the film’s use of complex metaphor and mise en scène. The infant remarked that while he has, at times, indulged himself in the more gradually paced cinema of the German New Wave Movement, he does prefer the hyper-kinetic style of Hong Kong films by John Woo and Sun Chung.

    Simeoin also complained that Slops and Grimace, his two black Labradors, were also lukewarm to most of the film.”

  2. Where the Wild Things Are is a book about imagination, knowing that the whole wide world is yours to grab, and about knowing that there’s always someone, somewhere that cares about you. All that in “approximately 10 sentences”.

    haters gonna hate

  3. Pi is the boy’s name and it has nothing to do with the mmahetatical pi. Although there may have been a small discussion about the correlation in the book, it is not hugely relevant. Pi is short for his full name, Piscine Molitor Patel (he is named after a swimming pool). He changes it to Pi when he begins secondary school, because he is tired of being taunted with the nickname, Pissing Patel ( Piscine sounds like Pissing ).I have not been paying much attention to hype these days and I was surprised to see that it was even being made into a movie. A friend of mine recommended and lent the book to me when I was between books earlier this year or last year. I did love it a lot and it won a famous prize for fiction, The Man Booker Prize, so I’m not totally surprised, I guess, that others could have liked it as much as I did. Its super imaginative and lush and I can see how it would translate easily into a visually rich modern movie.

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