Where The Wild Things Are…In My Classroom

This post is not a journalism one really, but I just had to share the experience.

I went to see the movie Where The Wild Things Are at the local megaplex Friday instead of football for a change.  Took the whole family, mi esposa, my favorite daughter (only have one – family joke) and my son who is Max.  I enjoyed reading the book to both of my kids, but maybe more to my son.  It was his favorite for a long time.

The movie, however, is one of the few times that the cinematic experience was better than the book.  As much as I loved reading the book, Spike Jonze found that perfect blend of staying true to the original story while still making it more than it was.

(SPOILER ALERT – SKIP TO THE END IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE)

My favorite part of the movie is also the same as my favorite part in the book, the moment when Max leaves the island of the Wild Things.  KW, like the monsters in the book wants him to stay.  When I read the book, I always felt the monsters were mad at Max.  But in the movie, the moment is packed with sadness and sorrow.   KW says the iconic line from the book “Please don’t go.  We’ll eat you up.  We love you so.”  But she is without anger, only filled with a horrible heartache.

The movie actually gave me a new insight into a book I’ve read literally hundreds of times.  That is rare.

(OK, SPOILERS OVER)

I’ve also discussed it with a number of students who’ve seen it and most have said they liked it.  It is such a rare movie to me, because it opened up a new way of thinking for me about a topic I thought I knew.  That is something that I want to get my students to see in their own writing.  Look at it with new eyes, someone else’s eyes.  Try to see a different perspective on your writing and see it how they see it.

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