January 20, 2010
Dear Anne & Carter,
I just saw a movie that I thought it would be fun to take you to, if you were around. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was a picture book that your father and Uncle Ted and probably every kid on the block had and loved. It was written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963 and finally made into a movie this year. It wasn’t a cartoon movie. The characters were actors playing animals in these huge furry feathery costumes. The expressions on their faces and voices were really real.
Have you read the storybook? It has very very few words. It’s about a little boy who gets punished by his mother for dressing up and making a mess in his house, and then talking back to her when she calls him “Wild Thing.” That night in his imagination his room turns into a jungle and he gets whisked away on a ship to an island where all these big monsters at first scare him, til he looks them in they eye and says ‘Be Still!’ taming them with a magic trick. Long story short: they make him king and he has great fun with them until he gets lonely and hungry and wants to go home. Which he does.
Well, the movie director, Spike Jonze, really had to stretch the story into a 120 minute movie, and I had some issues with it. I wish I could‘ve seen it with you first before I give you my opinion, but here goes. I‘d have asked you what part you liked best, and which character you did‘nt like. And I‘d‘ve loved to hear your answer to what message you think the movie maker sent. But here goes my take: I felt it was a lot too negative and violent. I remember when your mother and I had to take you out of the movie Ratatouiee because it scared you. In this movie I thought the struggle between the brother and his sister was overdone, and the snowball fight or whatever it was within his real life and another battle on the island were not things I‘d like to see modeled for kids like you. However, with all the violence on television, especially in the news, this doesn’t compare I guess.
Well here‘s the link for the trailer for the movie and lots of pictures of the wonderful animals. Let me know if you want me to send you a DVD of it for Valentines Day.
Your wanna/be screenwriter Grandmother Pat