Friday, December 14, 2007

Where the Wild Things Are

I have, in fact, read books in my life. One I have had the pleasure of reading is Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. I was surfing the internet, as I frequently do, and I saw a blurb about the upcoming movie adaptation of WTWTA by Spike Jonze, and it got me thinking about the book again.

I can't remember how old I was when I first saw WTWTA. I'm pretty sure that I was too young to be able to read the words. But Maurice Sendak's illustrations were absolutely indelible on my toddler mind. Truthfully, there are many things from my childhood that I've forgotten, but I haven't forgotten what the Wild Things look like. As I think back on the book, it was a sweeping epic. After all, Max's journey lasted several years. To the knee-high version of myself, WTWTA was equivalent to The Lord of the Rings. When I look at the book now and see that it's less than fifty pages, I think it just further shows the power of those images. The Wild Things didn't even have names, but each one was so uniquely rendered with its own personality.

It would be fair to say that this book had a profound impact on me. I spent hours looking at those illustrations, creating my own backstories for all of the Wild Things. Max was a boy with a vivid imagination, just like Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, another huge influence on the young me. There's still a lot of Max and Calvin in this head of mine.

I don't know how the movie will turn out, but I'm encouraged that Spike Jonze is directing. I'm sure this book would have popped in his childhood at some point. And anyone who handles the surrealism of Charlie Kauffman as well as Spike is definitely the person for this project.

1 comment:

JD said...

One of the greatest books ever. I must have read everyday as a kid.
No film could do it justice.