My Media Digest

Everything We Watch, Read, Hear, Smell, Feel, We Write

Where The Wild Things Are

Writes Motivations And Intentions 

Dave Egger, the author of the novel The Wild Things, also co-wrote the screenplay along with director Spike Jones upon his request.  Also upon his request from Maurice Sendak to help in the screen play he agreed to write a novelization of the movie.  However he said that if he was going to write it he was going to add a part of himself into Max just like Sendak and Jones had done with their versions.  He enjoyed the ability to openly expand the plot and characters as Sendak gave him and Jones free roam to add as the wanted.  His only concern was the alteration from the room turning into the forrest to the boat and sailing their.    Maurice had reached out to Egger during the middle of the creation of the screen play and asked him to create the novelization.  He agreed to do it and credited his success to all three of them getting along and had having the same image about adding more of an element of danger.  He also recalls being a fan of the original text even though when he first read it he was terrified of it.  However he grew to enjoy it because he could relate to Max and his type of personality.  This connection the project all that more appealing.  He talks about his daughters love of the Wizard of Oz and says, “I think there’s plenty of kids who have grown up with different types of children’s movies.”  I believe this motivated him also wanting to give kids a different type of children’s movie other than the digitally made and overly simplified PG movies.

The Adaption Process

Egger, Jones, and Sendak all agreed that their were changes that need to be made.  In Eggers words, “The book is 150 words, the movie is 90 minutes, the novel gets to be a whole different level.” In his life his father was an attorney which involves being away a good bit of the time.  Also both of the of his parents passed away in 1991 and 1992 so by the age of twenty one he had no parents left, just his three siblings.  This caused him to drop out of school and watch over his eight year old brother because his older two siblings were busy.

They wanted to make each installment more dangerous and crazy as they were given more media to fill.  He wanted to focus on the confusion of Max in a world confusing to him.  With no father and his mother interested in other men, while his sister is older and no longer interested in hanging out with him Max is lost.  One of the few things that Sendak was hesitant to change was how Max went to the other world but in the book Egger changed it to riding a boat just like the movie because the wanted to leave it more up for interpretation of if it is real or not and if the bedroom just morphed it would be quite obvious.  He talked about how working on the screenplay was so different because it was constant debate between him and Spike that in an eight hour day they may get twenty minutes of writing in.  They wanted to nail down who each character was perfectly, whereas when he wrote the novel alone everything came from him and every character was a refection of himself more.

Critical Reception

Many people seem to agree that as a stand alone book it is average to slightly above average.  He is fairly popular young contemporary writes and is known for being successful at writing the children’s mind.  However as an adaption there seems to be a split between hating hit and loving it.  The census seems to be that the people who enjoyed it liked the fact of how different and added on it is and those who hate it do so due to the lack of authenticity to the original text.  It has a much deeper look into the relationship with his mother and fills in the void of what happened to the father.  It also explains how his sister is growing up and is no longer interested in playing with her kid brother.  Many liked it due to the fact that it states so little in the text but evokes and inspires readers to fill it in their own head.  It also has received the same criticism that Where The Wild Things Are received such as it is rebellious from parents, and that it has no moral from educators.

Denzel Freeman

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2015 by in Books, Denzel Freeman, Movies and tagged , , , , , , .


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