If you don’t remember Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, you have to hop into your DeLorean faster than the Doc can say “flux capacitor” and visit your five-year-old self - now!
Not that most of us really want to be five again, but I saw the movie trailer for the book and I couldn’t help feeling all nostalgic and fuzzy inside. It reminded me of being introduced to the school library in grade one, just learning how to use the card-and-pocket borrowing system. I wasn’t quite sure if I got the instructions, but none of this mattered when our teacher pulled out this book full of colour and drawings of romping beasts in the woods. I dropped the copy of Red is Best in my hands. I was in love.
I think the common appeal of this book is that we can all identify with getting into plenty enough mischief and fun as kids. Though I didn’t have a wolf outfit, I did dress up like Dr. Doom (I have no idea why), ran around the house singing the Spiderman song, made forts out of the sofa and antagonized the dog. And unlike most girls who had Barbies, I only had She-Ra, who I introduced to my glue gun in a torso- and face-melting experiment.
So I sound like the creepy kid from Toy Story. My older brother wasn’t any better. At restaurants, he’d spit food he didn’t like under his chair, whip frogs at second-story windows, and terrorize squirrels with his slingshot. And most of his Transformers somehow ended up in He-Man’s Evil Horde Slime Pit.
And just because we were Chinese kids who played violin, cello and piano, it didn’t mean we were angelic virtuosos, either. I hardly practiced, and having little to no attention span, I hated sitting day after day at the piano bench. Most of the hour I was supposed use practicing was spent staring at the squiggly shapes that apparently float around in our eyeballs.
I guess looking back at myself as a kid, things haven’t changed all that much. As an adult, I’ve found myself getting into tinfoil-ball throwing fights in the office and have joyfully pranked coworkers when they’re away. I guess that explains why I still want to see this movie based on a picture book for little kids.
It’s coming October 2009 and is a live-action movie by Spike Jonze. Maybe the trailer’s just slick, but the style of the movie paired with Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” just about makes me want to cry . . . in a nostalgic kind of way. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out. It’ll make you miss being a kid again. [see below]