Friday, 22 June 2007

"The walls became the world all around"

When has adapting a children's picture book into a film ever succeeded? Certainly Dr. Seuss hasn't fared well in recent years with The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And is there a point?

The above image is from Spike Jonze's upcoming adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The image looks wonderful and there is a lot of talent behind the production. Jonze is a great choice as director, going with Jim Henson's Creature Shop is a wise move, and Dave Eggars knows his way around a typewriter but a lot of questions arise into the premise of adapting a picture book. Writers Spike Jonze and Dave Eggars have quite a challenge.

Much of the charm of picture books is their ability to distill big ideas into small, simple packages with enchanting imagery. While I'm sure Jonze will get the imagery right, the question remains: how does one preserve the charm and simplicity of a picture book over the course of a feature length film? I hope that we will have the answer when Where the Wild Things Are is released in October.

Legendary Pictures
Where the Wild Things Are - Wiki
Maurice Sendak - Wiki
Spike Jonze - Wiki
Dave Eggars - Wiki
MTV Movies Blog entry
Jim Henson's Creature Shop
IMDB - Entry

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