|A Parental Review of "Where the Wild Things Are" for Concerned Parents:|
I had high hopes for the movie Where the Wild Things Are, as the previews were awesome. So, sadly, we were really disappointed – the movie was much darker (thematically, not illumination-wise) then I’d expected, and it left me feeling that it was not so much a children’s movie as it was an allegorical dissertation on the human condition and family dysfunction, thinly veiled as a cinematic representation of a beloved children’s book.
There are definitely some moments in the movie that are simply too intense for children – such as when a character’s arm gets ripped off (and is then replaced with a twig), and you think that some beloved owls are killed (although it turns out that they aren’t). A “dirt fight” (think snowball fight, only with clods of dirt) goes from fun to earnest, mean, and violent. And a wild thing swallows Max whole in order to hide him – he isn’t hurt, but he almost suffocates, and comes out very slimey.
There is a lot of anger, a lot of acting out, threats, and the perception of violence. Most of this occurs among the wild things (both directed towards each other and, at times, towards the human boy Max) but Max has his moments too, and he actually bites his mother before running away (which is not how it plays out in the book).
Again, there is a lot of darkness in the movie, and in general, if you have a child who is sensitive to anger, threats, or the perception of violence, or if you simply don’t want to expose your child to the darker side of family relationships, you may want to skip Where the Wild Things Are.
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