Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Mark your calendar for October 16th if you were and are enchanted by the children's book Where the Wild Things Are. That is the release date of a live-action feature-length motion picture that has been made from the classic 1963 picture book. The trailer promises a rich treat adapted from Maurice Sendak's 10 lines of text and beautiful illustrations. Sendak, now 81, co-produced the film, directed by Spike Jonze. Of the dozens of children's books Sendak wrote and/or illustrated, Where the Wild Things Are remains the most popular and is now regarded as a masterpiece, although it was controversial when published for catering to the "nightmarish" aspects of childhood fantasy. Another of his books, In the Night Kitchen, is still challenged for its illustrative depiction of the young protagonist Mickey in the nude (gasp), rather than its admitted reference - by way of cooks with Hitleresque mustaches trying to cook the boy in their ovens - to the Holocaust. Wild Things won a Caldecott Medal, an award named in honor of English illustrator Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), who died and was buried during a holiday here in Florida. Regarding the film, as Max and this blogger say, "Let the wild rumpus begin!"

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