Why was I the last person to find out that newly released adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic 1963 children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are was filmed in the beautiful, rugged landscape of southern Australia.
What I also didn't know was that the Jim Henson Creature Shop created elaborate full-body Wild-Things suits of otherworldly, grotesque beauty. Computer imagery was only brought in as a final veneer, to animate the creatures’ faces. But to see Henson’s monsters romp around with Max on screen is to feel the heft of their bodies and the heat of their breath.
However you feel about Spike Jonze’s treatment of Where the Wild Things Are, you can’t be anything but dazzled by the way he and his team brought Maurice Sendak’s beasts to life. Often choosing the path of most resistance—the film took six years to make, after all—director Spike Jonze opted not to rely solely on computer graphics to render the Wild Things. However advanced C.G.I. technology has become, it simply wouldn’t have looked substantial enough to recreate those terrible teeth and those terrible claws. Spike Jonze directed his first movie, Being John Malkovich, in 1999. I can't wait to see it!
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