After waiting for a really long time for it to come out--there was some delay because apparently the monsters were testing as too scary for little kids--I was really excited to finally see Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic book. I actually started getting really impatient a week or two before it was released, because the commercials would get me so excited that I wanted to go out and see it immediately. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved it. It was dark, and complex, and everything seemed real, especially the danger. When Max was being chased (it happens twice in the movie, but I won't spoil any more), I actually felt my heart beating. It was a movie that was going for real emotional connection, and I loved that about it.
I don't want to go on and on, but I will say this--it isn't a kids' movie. It's dark, and has some scary parts, (little kids in the theater were terrified), and it doesn't fit into anything remotely resembling a neat package or moral. Instead, it's a movie about being a kid--about imagination and the loneliness of being young and misunderstood--and it really resonated with me because of that.
Most movies aimed at kids are pandering (honestly, the previews were terrible, and not only because The Rock is trying to become Dwayne Johnson) and rely on making jokes about pop culture, instead of actually being a movie, and the fact that Where the Wild Things Are did not do this at all was what really made it, for me, not a kids' movie. But it's a bold statement of what a kids' movie can be, and what a young audience can handle.