mixed feelings about this film. its such rich material to use, nice film work, and then what they made is...well...sort've boring.
its not bad enough to outright hate, but its a let down.
max runs away after fighting with his mom because she's giving attention to a boyfriend and not him. his anger issues and depression are the focus of this film. the film is quite somber with a lot of unspoken passages. max finds a boat (which sets up the very possibility that the bulk of film is just a dream sequence since we see him playing with a handmade boat toy on his bed and imagining it to be real). he sets out in the boat and ends up on an island where "wild things" live. they have their own, pronounced, 'family' issues. and he's were it starts to turn iffy.
the home life of max is a bit 'after school special', but the wild life is where the magic of the story is suppose to happen, so its tolerable. except the wild life is not much different. lovely in its part real part fantasy use of effects and the characters are unique and interesting. yet in the end there is simply not much here to use up so much time and worse its entirely sombre with hardly a hint of fun. even the 'fun' parts are wrought with meaning and anticipation of things going wrong. its a heavy and relentlessly sombre movie. why? sure the lessons are here and its an admirable one, but its hard to stay with the movie. kids will surely not like how drawn out the whole thing is, and its inability to show fun. parents, who want this to be effective will thus find it useless. that leaves the casual viewer to want this movie and maybe they will.
i don't know. i walked into this movie knowing that there were mixed reviews, and i expected that i could like it...even love it. but i, too, was left wanting.
too bad. i suspect and hope actually this gets remade and who ever does it uses some parts of this film.