Where the Wild Things are
June 10, 2008 3:40 AM   Subscribe

Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen - YouTube animations of Maurice Sendak's classic childrens' books.
posted by UbuRoivas (39 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
wicked. i bought this book six months ago for the nostalgia, perhaps i'll give it to my own kids one day. i remember reading a literary analysis of it somewhere it was good for a chuckle.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 3:51 AM on June 10, 2008

My current sole reason for producing offspring is to read 'Where the Wild Things Are' to them.

If they do not appreciate it to an acceptable extent then I'm afraid it's to the salt mines with them.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 4:27 AM on June 10, 2008 [4 favorites]

Milk in the batter!
Milk in the batter!
We bake cake!
And nothing's the matter!
posted by jammy at 4:37 AM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

What is a YouTube animation? Is this a new style of animation that I've never heard of? Or is this like when my grandma used to ask me to turn off my video computer and come to dinner?
posted by Eideteker at 5:00 AM on June 10, 2008

Check out this early 80's test combining cel animation and CG from MAGI/Synthavision - a major contributor to Tron. Where the Wild Things Are
posted by jfrancis at 5:05 AM on June 10, 2008

Really Rosie.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:06 AM on June 10, 2008

Chicken soup with Rice!
posted by jammy at 5:08 AM on June 10, 2008

Eideteker - you have a video computer? Damn, I've only got an inter-net typewriter!
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:09 AM on June 10, 2008

We played these videos for my son while my wife was pregnant with our daughter years ago. She was terribly sick from the pregnancy at the time, so still gets a "nostalgic" tinge of nausea when she hears them, especially Pierre.

So I just sent her the link.
posted by genefinder at 5:34 AM on June 10, 2008

re: the "YouTube animation"

A 1988 animated adaptation, directed by Gene Deitch, contains narration by Peter Schickele, who also composed the music.
posted by stbalbach at 5:50 AM on June 10, 2008

genefinder - Pierre reminds me very much of Hilaire Belloc's sublime Cautionary Tales for Children.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:52 AM on June 10, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are, a 2009 live-action film directed by Spike Lee and written by Dave Eggers.
posted by stbalbach at 5:53 AM on June 10, 2008

I found it unwatchable. Sorry. In the same way that filmed adaptations overwrite your own reading of the book and your own voice reading it to your own kid, I found it intrusive and a net loss versus my own imagining of the thing. I am not saying this is not good, just that I find it an unpleasant dilution of the source text.
posted by Wolof at 5:59 AM on June 10, 2008

I have, in the distant past, been more coherent.

Hopefully the more sympathetic reader will divine my intended meaning.

posted by Wolof at 6:04 AM on June 10, 2008

My current sole reason for producing offspring is to read 'Where the Wild Things Are' to them.

I was quite excited about this for my first born as well, and he and I enjoyed it very much. But "The Night Kitchen" is more interesting; the story works on several levels, and every few months we'd read it again, and he would have a different reaction to it. Plus, the drawings are amazing fun for the adult, and eventually the child as well.

But I ain't watching any animated versions of either book, because I wouldn't be able to unwatch them, and that would be sad.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 6:19 AM on June 10, 2008

I got to meet Maurice once. It was my first year as a balloon pilot in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and the debut of the Where The Wild Things Are balloon that year. Like every year, it was way too freaking early in the morning and way too freaking cold out, and I had been up all night partying instead of getting some sleep before the parade (don't tell parade management that, OK?)...so I don't remember it too clearly and Maurice I'm sure doesn't remember me, but it was kind of neat to shake the hand of someone who shaped your childhood for so many years. And then drag a massive balloon down Broadway in their honor.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:19 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

one degree of separation from Maurice Sendak!

also: the Wild Things video came to me by chance (a friend posted it elsewhere) but now I know *exactly* what my 5yo nephew is getting for his birthday this weekend! handed to me on a platter.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:29 AM on June 10, 2008

Thanks, Ubu, that was perfect timing. It's kiddie bedtime here, and I've got the whole house in boxes in front of relocating in two days, children's books and all. They're all in bed now. I couldn't see replacing story time with Dad with one of those movies as a regular thing, for the reasons Wolof describes, and because cuddling with the troops around a laptop isn't as warm and nice as doing it around a book, but in this case it was just the thing.
posted by BinGregory at 6:29 AM on June 10, 2008

Macy's parade Wild Things balloon.

on preview, BinGregory :D
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:33 AM on June 10, 2008

Very cool, thanks Ubu! I keep trying to get my sister (she has a six yo daughter) hooked on MeFi. I'll be forwarding her this link.
posted by owhydididoit at 6:50 AM on June 10, 2008

Am I the only person in America who never read Where the Wild Things Are as a child?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:16 AM on June 10, 2008

Maurice Sendak on the controversies created by his work, from the link Armitage Shanks posted: "If anything, it's adults who tend to feel queasy about his work. 'Grown-ups desperately need to feel safe, and then they project onto the kids,' he said." Interesting. IMO, that's not completely true, but it's interesting to think about the ways that is true.
posted by salvia at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2008

I have given away... at least 10, probably a dozen... copies of Where the Wild Things Are to friends and acquaintances who have had children.
posted by Shepherd at 7:42 AM on June 10, 2008

When teenbeagle was a tot we read Where The Wild Things Are so often he had it memorized. As toddlers do, he'd sometimes spin out of control and the one thing I found that would always work to calm him was if I held him close in my arms and whisper the words to WTWTA in his ear, so no one else would hear, just like I was telling him a secret. He would settle back in my arms like it was bedtime and he was snuggling into his blankets. I heart Alex and the Wild Things.
posted by toastedbeagle at 7:47 AM on June 10, 2008

I don't want to make the littlest brussels sprout feel bad...but you may be the first one I've come across. I have had everyone from bus drivers to big-ass biker dudes poke the tattoo on my shoulder (from whence the boy in the wolf suit snickers) and say, "Nice Max!"

The meaning it holds for me may be different than some, but for most it is a reminder of more imaginative times.
posted by squasha at 7:47 AM on June 10, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are, a 2009 live-action film directed by Spike Lee and written by Dave Eggers.

That kinda blew my mind for a minute. "Spike Lee? Really. That doesn't seem like a Spike Lee kind of movie. Maybe he could do it. This could be really... oh." It's Spike Jonze. Which still might be really good.

Or awful.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 7:52 AM on June 10, 2008

We have this DVD--I love the classic Carole King song parts that it also includes, but WTWTA and ITNK are narrated and scored by Peter Schickele, aka PDQ Bach, and I find both the music and his narration style to be totally inappropriate for the stories as we've always read them. Peter Schickele, I hope your head falls off.
posted by padraigin at 7:54 AM on June 10, 2008

I'm reluctant to watch the link also, because I love reading "Where the Wild Things Are" to my kids and I like my interpretation very much.. I don't want to be influenced! The boys are entranced when I read it. I loved it when I was a kid too. I do like the idea of it being available to littlies whose parents aren't horrible showoffs in the reading department, though. And yay, now I've got another book to buy for mine because I hadn't heard of "In The Night Kitchen" before.
posted by h00py at 8:20 AM on June 10, 2008

Thanks so much for this, Ubu. I teach elementary school and I use Wild Things every year to teach adjectives and setting. The kids love describing the monsters and they giggle and Oooo through the whole story. After we read it, they use craft supplies to create their own monsters. I secretly name the ugliest monster creations after Republican politicians, reserving Orrin Hatch and Sam Brownback for only the most atrocious of beasts.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:41 AM on June 10, 2008

Ah, Max et les Monstres. I heart Maurice Sendak, his books were important parts of my childhood. I can't wait to read them to my own (eventual) children.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:56 AM on June 10, 2008

That kinda blew my mind for a minute. "Spike Lee? Really. That doesn't seem like a Spike Lee kind of movie.

Joint. It is a Spike Lee joint.
posted by Jonsnews at 8:58 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

From Wikipedia: Because of Mickey's nudity, In the Night Kitchen "proved controversial in the United States on release and has continued to be so. The book has been ranked 25th place on the '100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000" compiled by the American Library Association'"

Give me a break, really? A naked kid (a toddler, really, Wikipedia says he is supposed to be about three years old) is that controversial? Wow. That's awful.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:07 AM on June 10, 2008

My boys love the books and the cartoons. The WTWTA cartoon is a little disappointing, but the Really Rosie cartoons are great. I don't think the animated versions detract too much from the originals. They're word for word and the animation is by Sendak himself.

It's amazing how downright weird In the Night Kitchen is. I'm not at all surprised that it's controversial-- not because I find it objectionable, but because people do object to all kinds of things. I don't think I actually read it until I was in the first or second grade and I thought it was very strange and didn't really like it. I started my kids on it early (when they were aged four and two), and they love it.
posted by Loudmax at 9:25 AM on June 10, 2008

A naked kid (a toddler, really, Wikipedia says he is supposed to be about three years old) is that controversial?
I was very disturberd by this book. Should 3 grown men be looking at a naked little boy? I try to teach my children that this is bad. I would have liked the story, had my children not been looking at a anatomicly correctly drawn little boy. Not appropriate for this age group, unless you are ready to open discussions about childrens bodies.

I just had to analyze this book for a banned book assiginment, and I found it utterly inappropiate for young children. First of all where does Sandak get off making Mickey naked when there is no reason why he can't be drawn with clothes on. Young children do not need to be exposed to Mickey's genitalia. This book should be removed from all bookshelves. Not only does it have gratuitous nudity it also promotes a religious viewpoint!
Yeah, people are nuts.

Here's a great interview with Maurice Sendak where he talks a bit about the controversy around In The Night Kitchen (and also who the Wild Things were based on).
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:30 AM on June 10, 2008

If Spike Lee directed it, it would be called, "Do the Wild Thing." Which, I believe, would be a completely different movie (or "joint"). But still a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
posted by ericbop at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

One of my own wild things is named Max, in honor of WTWTA. His brother's middle name is William, after Piglet's grandfather. Why yes, I am a Librarian, why do you ask?

We used to have these on videotape when my Max was little. There was actually a whole series of storybook videos by Children's Circle. One of his absolute favorites was Rosie's Walk.
posted by Biblio at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2008

I guess In The Night Kitchen explains pancakes, too (I just realized....I didn't mean the Metafilter variety....). I hadn't read this story or seen any adaptations of it. That was neat . Thanks!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 12:05 PM on June 10, 2008

This is ripped from a DVD. We have it. My child deeply, deeply loves these. This makes me happy.
posted by kjs3 at 6:36 PM on June 11, 2008

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