Movie recommendation: Where the Wild Things Are

Sometimes movies help us peek into a child’s perspective to understand their struggles and triumphs in a new way. Middle school teacher Ariel Sacks recommends the movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are because of its profound message.

I just saw the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Areone of my all-time favorite books. This classic picture book has a permenant spot in my eighth grade ELA curriculum, where my students investigate the Journey story. I was not expecting it to be great because its ratings were so-so. In some ways, it wasn’t. As an adult looking for an entertaining flick, not sure this qualifies. But it found it, like the book, oddly profound. It takes liberties with the story, filling in backstory and making real characters out of the wild things. But Maurice Sendak co-produced the movie and I can see why. It is different from the book but resounds like the book. It speaks on the issue of children and power. I was expecting the wild things to be like kids. But like the original illustrations suggest, they are representations of the adults in Max’s life. Max feels powerless in reality, a difficult feeling all children experience on various levels. He becomes the king of these wild things and attempts to solve their problems.

Looking for reviews of it, I noticed that fellow transformED blogger Dan Brown also has written an excellent post about this film. He calls it “required viewing” for teachers. I’d agree. As an adult who cares about children and is interested in understanding childhood, this film has unusual depth and brilliance. Check out Dan’s post and the film. It’s a great use of two hours of your winter vacation.


[Image credit:]

Related categories: