Movie Review: "Where The Wild Things Are"

I went with my wife, sister-in-law, and 4-year-old nephew to see the new movie "Where The Wild Things Are" yesterday morning. I'd read this beloved book (written the year I was born) to my kids frequently, and always put on a really good performance of my favorite lines:
They roared their terrible roars,
And gnashed their terrible teeth,
And rolled their terrible eyes,
And showed their terrible claws...
This movie didn't feature teeth gnashing or eye rolling, but it gave us something more -- a really good film that really young kids will like while their parents are getting an emotional roller coaster ride. The pre-schooler loved it, and both the ladies with me admitted to being in tears at points. (I just got something in my eyes.) Kids over 8 years old, however, might find it a little too intense.

The movie works on many levels. It explains why Max makes mischief of one kind and another (a broken home and unhappy childhood) and spells out -- without shoving it in your face -- how the Wild Things are manifestations of the people and feelings in his life. The CGI and voice acting were incredible; the Wild Things seemed as real as the boy. It was the adaptation of the story that will cause the most controversy; this movie really isn't aimed at kids, even though the advertising campaign seems to be. Will children from unhappy homes leave the theater in tears? Will they emulate Max in making mischief? They might, but they might have done that even without seeing the movie. For parents who are worried about how the film might affect their more sensitive kids, I'd suggest seeing it yourself first -- you'll have a first-rate theater-going experience even if you decide not to take your children. I give this movie four Wild Rumpuses out of five.