Max is a troubled boy, he loves to use his imagination but he has a problem which sees him loose control if he cannot get his own way. After a run in with his older sister and then a fight with his Mom Max runs away. He runs to a place very far away which sees him travelling on a boat to a magical island where monsters and creatures live. Max meets carol who usually would have eaten him but he decides not to and they become friends. Carol and Max are very similar and soon Max meets the rest of the gang. Max soon declares that he is king and wants to run things his way. The gang let him and they are soon building a special place where only good things happen.
Will Max and the Gang all be able to get on and will Max ever learn to live a life where he cannot get all he wants and go home?
I did have high hopes for this film as I remember it had a lot of hype when it was released in the cinema but for me it was a let down. I could not find the meaning of the story and at times I could not follow who was who and what was actually going on, maybe this was me being a little thick or not actually fully concentrating on what was happening. I know the film is based on a famous and popular book but I have not read this and maybe if I had t would have helped me understand it more. Hubby did actually love this film and he completely disagreed with me and my opinion.
Max was played by Max Records and I did think he was good in his role, he came across as a normal boy who loved to use his imagination and just wanted a bit of attention from his family. He worked very well with the creatures and monsters and there was a good interaction between them. The monsters were quite strange looking and the best way for me to describe them would be to compare them the to the gruffalo or the troll which were in Fraggle Rock. Not all of them looked like this and we did have a goat and a bird type creature. They were times when I thought the monsters looked quite scary and might actually frighten smaller children.
The voices which the monsters were given were all very good and helped bring the characters to life. The voices managed to help bring feeling and emotion to the puppets and I felt I was able to get a good insight into them from the way they spoke and this also enabled them to show emotions as the otherwise flat features would not have been ale to do this on there own. Some of the vocals included actors, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara and Forest Whitaker.
The setting for the film was lovely and the mix of landscapes on the island worked very well. We did get some wonderful shots out over the ocean and for me they were amazing and very enjoyable to watch. I thought the whole way of life shown for the monsters and creatures was very good but for me it did lack in some basic things, Max never ate whilst he was on the island and he never even drank and for me I would have liked it to be a bit more normal to life and I think t would have been quite fun to see the monsters trying to prepare a feast. The costumes were all very good and the puppets and actors using them did a great job. They looked very real and moved with ease.
The music used in the film was good and very in keeping with the whole magical and imagination based film. It was not spectacular but it suited all the places it was used and helped with the emotions of the story.
The DVD which we have does have a some bonus material which includes:-
Series of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Shorts by Lance Bangs: The absurd Difficulty of filming a Dog running and barking at the same time, Crew Pranks Spike, Vampire Attack: The Max records Short, The Kids take over the picture.
I have not watched any of these as I was overly impressed with the film so I am unable to comment on them.
The running time of the film is 97 minutes and it has a PG rate. I agree that parental guidance is needed as there is mild threat and brief violence and personally I think the appearance of the monsters and creatures may be too frightening for young viewers. The DVD can be bought for just £5 now in Tesco.
I am sad to say that I can only give this film 3 stars, if it was just me then I would have given it 2 but as hubby loved it then I have been generous. The lack of plot was what I found hard to enjoy but the acting is good and so too are the puppets. Maybe this would be more enjoyed by the younger market it was aimed at