Normally, I’d be instantly skeptical of any movie claiming to be based on “one of the most beloved books of all time.” But in the case of Spike Jonze’s long-delayed adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, I’d say that’s a description that’s more than earned. Certainly, in my home, Maurice Sendak’s scary and wondrous journey through the wilds of a child’s imagination was a favorite, read before bedtime more or less on repeat for years. Even after I started reading on my own, I remember asking my mother to read it to me. I don’t know how many times she did, but it had to have been in the hundreds — she even made up her own words for the wordless pages. I remember a lot of my childhood through the books that I read, or in my youngest years the books that were read to me, and this is one of my earliest, fondest memories.
And it seems like Jonze’s movie, which was scripted by the sensitive indie world’s hero of clever earnestness, Dave Eggers, is targeted not towards the same imaginative young children who continue to make the book a success each year, but to those who, like me, grew up with the book and remember it lovingly. With its Arcade Fire soundtrack (not so much indie nerd dogwhistle as flashing neon sign) and folky aesthetic, the trailer is a perfectly sold hipster nostalgia piece — and sure enough, I buy it completely.