Jan 10

Finding Emo

Do You See + FT4 comments • 1,149 views

Boo fucking hoo Emo Wild ThingI vaguely remember Where The Wild Things Are as a kid. I don’t think it was a sanctioned kids book in my house, and there was a very small window for picture books to flourish before I went for the word only hard stuff. But I so remember leafing through it at a friends (clearly being disapproving*) and wondering why there was a boy dressed as a wolf with a crown on playing with these giant creatures. And why didn’t they eat him.

All the way through the film of Where The Wild Things Are I kept wondering, why don’t they eat him. Seriously, he is fucking annoying. Of course the reason they don’t eat him (or indeed eat anything through the film) is they are a bunch of BIG EMO WILD THINGS, too worried about being sad and lonely rather than noshing down on some fine kiddie snack. Max, who is the little bundle of ten year old rage, may not have much good eating in it, but even so the decision to make him their king, rather than dinner, seems perverse. Why only the other day I decided not to eat a bit of fish that looked a bit off. I did not however bow down to it, and make a giant camp cum World War 1 trench system at its behest. Admittedly it wasn’t asking.

In the book I am guessing that Max becomes king because that’s what Maurice Sendak wanted to draw, and its lots of fun for the kids to watch the kid playing with these big scary monsters. And the moments in Where The Wild Things Are where Max does take part in what I believe is known as the “Rumpus” is a nice moment of release. Admittedly because its about the only thing in the film not weigh down by needless emotional baggage. Did Spike Jonze think it was a coup to get James Gandolfini to do the voice of the main wild thing? All I can hear whilst he gripe about his loneliness and how he is misunderstood is Tony Soprano, sitting with Doctor Melfi. Of course this may suggest the intorspective side of an otherwise violent character like Tony Soprano but this only works if:
a) You are old enough to see The Sopranos
b) You can’t see through such a blatent device. FOR SHAME SPIKE SO CALLED JONZE.

So after an hour and a half of moaning and moaning and more moaning, Max appears to learn a lesson that it is hard to be a parent, especially to a bunch of suede coloured Banana Splits (kind of over-ripe banana splits). I don’t remember this moral in the book either. He then goes home where his Mum does not punish him one jot because clearly she was watching the rest of the film and thought spending loads of time with oversized Emo sad sacks (LITERALLY) and thinks that was punishment enough. That and having to sit through the Fisher Price Piano hummings of Karen O and some kids on the sound track. As if there is not a PERFECTLY GOOD WILD THING SONG ALREADY IN EXISTENCE.

Other critics have enjoyed the way Where The Wild Things Are manages to conjure up the sensation of actually being a child. For which i say, I pity your tedious, emo filled childhoods. I may not know where the wild things are, I sure as hell know they are not in this film.


  1. 1
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 7 Jan 2010 #

    I think the moral IS there in the original, though it’s not spelled out. My Alice piece originally had a digression-disquisition on through-portal kidlit: Max is Alice, Where the Wild Things Are is Wonderland; but where the moral of Alice is “Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears a Throne” BECAUSE EVERYTHING GROWN-UP IS VERY VERY SILLY. Wheras WtwtA sez: you will get to be an grown-up too one day; and you find you will need mumbots.

    Actually I should really write this digression up shouldn’t I?

  2. 2
    Pete on 7 Jan 2010 #

    As long as it stays within three paragraphs, yes.

    For me the interesting comparison is obviously with the Fantastic Mr Fox which many critics disliked because it seemed to be stuffed with things only adults will get. But as a kid, I loved trying to get what the adults got (and we aren’t really talking sexual innuendo here), and wanted to read adult books as soon as I could. Thus FMF works well as a silly diversion for adults, and as an aspirational adventure for kids. With Foxes.

  3. 3
    Simon on 7 Jan 2010 #

    I liked the film. It was certainly melancholy, but it captures the mood of Max as he escapes from his mother

  4. 4
    kouki on 16 Jan 2010 #

    hi i am is kouki i live in morocco .and Ilove style emo

    happy yers for you


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