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Author Topic: Where The Wild Things Are...
tstevens
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Here is a link to a recent Rolling Stone piece with Spike Jonze where he briefly discusses the filming of WTWTA.

I'm still looking forward to this film but I have a deep fear that it is going to feel more like Being John Malkovich than it will feel like a childrens classic.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/24692976/hot_movie_drama_where_the_wild_things_are

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Charles
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That's a good interview. The filmmakers stuck to their guns and their vision and it sounds like it will pay off artistically for the miovie. He says that Maurice Sendak is pleased with it, that say's something about what to expect.

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Mr. Fun
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I’m waiting to be convinced. This project has been tried a number of times without satisfactory results. Clearly, it’s not an easy task.

While it’s nice to know Mr. Sendak is pleased with the film, that doesn’t mean the audience will be.

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tstevens
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At one point I think I had heard that Tom Hanks had some involvement with the property and I even I think heard that Eric Goldberg was slated to be a director on an animated version.

One of the major problems with turning a childrens book into a full length feature is trying to fill out the story without losing the spirit. I can see how most of these projects could easilly spin out of control. On one hand you have films like The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and Polar Express that failed miserably. But on the other hand you have truly successful adaptations like Winnie The Pooh. I would even count Curious George as ultimately being a success though it was by all accounts a mess from the beginning.

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Mr. Fun
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I continue to be amazed how simple children’s stories manage to confound film makers. Maybe it’s because the film maker fails to grasp the simplicity of a children’s book. Perhaps they should write a children’s book before attempting to tell a film story.

In any case, I’ve watched simple stories, easily adaptable, become twisted and turned into an unwatchable mess. The story was always there, but for some reason they couldn’t seem to find it.

A master story teller like Bill Peet was able to adapt “101 Dalmatians” in six months. Today’s film makers can spend years on a project and come up with nothing. Maybe we simply don’t have storytellers like Bill Peet anymore.

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tstevens
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Do you think Peet had more overall cotrol when it came to storytelling? It seems like most modern films are "by committee" yet Peet seemed to come up with a much more unified vision.

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Mr. Fun
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How hard can it be?

If you’ve got a good storyteller, leave him or her alone to develop their film. I guarantee the “committee” will only screw it up. Walt Disney trusted Bill Peet to come up with something that worked. John Lasseter allowed Brad Bird to write and direct “The Incredibles.”

You either have a story or you don’t. You either have a story teller -- or you don’t. The leader -- whoever that leader is -- should know that. That’s their job.

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Mr. Fun
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As a follow up, some might ask about Bill’s adaptation of “The Jungle Book.”

Well, Bill Peet wrote and storyboarded his version, and Walt didn’t like it. I never said it didn’t work. It’s just that Walt Disney didn’t like it, and Walt’s name (not Bill’s) was on the building.

Vance and I often thought we screwed up Bill’s movie. Funny how things turn out, eh?

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