No, silly, I'm not asking about the steamy modern noir from 1998, but the big-screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's classic that opens on Friday. Cinematical will have a full review of Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are later this week; my personal reaction is that it's a sweet adventure, suffused with melancholy, displaying a delicate, altogether pleasant and grounded spirit of childish wonder. But is it for kids or adults?
Fears about the film's suitability first surfaced more than a year ago when test screenings reportedly reduced some children to tears. Delays and reshoots ensued, with some fans expressing concern that 'the scary bits' would be excised from the final product. I have no idea what children find scary these days; many young ones were in attendance at the screening I attended last night and I heard nary a whimper or a scream. Some early reviews have suggested that it's "a movie about a child that isn't a children's film," as Brent Simon wrote in his review for Screen Daily. Is that because it's still too scary? No, but because "family audiences may find it too challenging." Jonze himself has acknowledged that it's not "a studio film for kids, or ... a traditional film about kids. We didn't have like a Movie Kid in our movie, or a Movie Performance in a Movie Kid world. We had a real kid and a real world."
Based on what you've heard and seen so far, are you planning to see Where the Wild Things Are? Do you have any concerns that it might be too "adult" for your kids? Or, on the other hand, does it sound too childish for teens or adults?