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'Where the Wild Things Are': Page to screen

”Where the Wild Things Are”: Page to screen — Comparing Maurice Sendak’s book to Spike Jonze’s film adaptation

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In bringing Maurice Sendak’s 10-sentence classic to the screen, Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers took a lot of liberties. They also knew when to leave well enough alone.

The Family
Book: Max has a mom we never see who calls him a ”wild thing.”
Movie: Max has a single mother (Catherine Keener) with a new boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo), and a big sister who has grown distant.

The Incident
Book: A wolf-suited Max gets sent to his room for sassing his mom.
Movie: A wolf-suited Max embarrasses his mom in front of her date by acting out and yelling, ”Feed me, woman!”

The Wild Things
Book: Nameless yellow-eyed monsters, both hungry and playful.
Movie: A dysfunctional family of complex, scary creatures, led by a manic-depressive named Carol.

The Rumpus
Book: Max and the Wild Things march, hang from trees, dance.
Movie: Max and Co. engage in deforestation, have a dirt fight, hurt each other’s feelings. Also: dismemberment!

The Running Time
Book: It takes about two minutes to read.
Movie: Roughly 98 minutes long — and definitely better than reading the book 49 times in a row.