“The night Max wore his wolf suit, and made mischief of one kind and another
– his mother called him “WILD THING”, and Max said “I’ll eat you UP!!!” so he was sent to bed without eating anything.”
And that’ s how it begins – all at once, the incredible journey to where the wild things are, as well as one of the most incredibly famous children’s stories in existence. I’m talking of course about Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things are”, a reading of which you can watch in the video up there.
Let the wild rumpus begin!
With around 20 million copies sold since its original publication in 1963, “Where the Wild Things Are” is one of the dearest picture books in America (maybe even the world), and there are good reasons why. This is an offbeat kind of children’s story, and it’s unlike your run of the mill type of infantile tales.
In the end of 2009, and after 10 years of production, Where the Wild things are was released as a live-action movie. Directed by Spike Jonze and praised by people of all age groups, this movie is in my opinion a great accomplishment of story-telling and movie-making alike. It’s a very special movie indeed, which will be cherished both by people who love the original story as well as newcomers.
The entire story is around 300 words, yet surprisingly the movie adaptation manages to be quite faithful to the original book – impressively so, actually! Even Maurice Sendak (the original author) has reportedly expressed his satisfaction with what Jonze achieved in the movie version – a very unlikely feat, especially considering the difficulty involved in such adaptation.
I highly recommend watching this movie, and bringing your kids along if you’ve got any. Also, for starters you may want to read the original story (check here for a pdf version) which goes like this:
“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another.
His mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said: “I’ll eat you UP!” so he was sent to bed without eating anything.
That very night in Max’s room a forest grew, and grew, and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through night and day, and in and out of weeks and almost over a year, to where the wild things are.
And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws till Max said “BE STILL!” and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all and made him king of all wild thing.
“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”
“Now stop!” Max said and send the wild things off to bed without their supper. And Max the king of all wild whings was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.
Then all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat, so he gave up being kind of where the wild things are.
But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!” And Max said, “No!”. The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye.
And sailed back over year, and in and out of weeks and through a day, and into the night of his very own room – where he found his supper waiting for him, and it was still hot. “