Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are #books #movie

I'm happy and sad, they will be releasing a movie version of Where the Wild Things Are, originally by Maurice Sendak, on October 16th 2009. This is my all time favourite book, to the exclusion of all others. And I buy it for all the children I know for Christmas or their birthdays, if they hadn't already gotten it from me.

In the Netherlands they produced a translation which wasn't even half as good as the original, they called it "Max en de Maxi Monsters". In my humble opinion there is one thing you shouldn't do, NEVER! You shouldn't implant the idea of monsters in a child and you should certainly not attach what, in my opinion, is one of the best children's books to this concept.

I think this is what Sendak did so brilliantly, he gave us the Wild Things and Max who - says his mother - is the Wildest of them all. What does Sendak do with this potentially threatening (scary) situation? He does what the Wild Things do and make Max the King of all the Wild Things.

The reason it doesn't work in the Dutch version where Max is a Monster and is make the King of the Monsters is that there is no subtlety. It's in no way disarming. Monsters are intransient in the eyes of children. The world is frightening enough, would you really want to put monsters into your child's head before bed? Wouldn't you rather give them Wild tameable Things?

Spike Jonze's "Where The Wild Things Are" Interview

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