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'Wild Things' comes to life on big screen

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
October 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For more than 40 years, families have been enthralled by the story of a boy named Max and his journey to an imaginary land of monsters. Maurice Sendak's classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" comes to life on the big screen this weekend. "It is not a kids movie, but it is a movie about a kid," said young actor Max Records.

Max Records sums up the big screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are."

Records plays the character of Max, an emotional young boy who's trying to make sense of the changing world around him. A fight with his Mom, played by Catherine Keener, sends him running out into the real world where he discovers "Where the Wild Things Are."

Max's adventure takes him to an unknown, exciting, far away land, an island that is filled with lots of action, and a slew of new "wild" best friends.

He meets a group of giant monsters, really huge animatronic puppets, voiced by some of today's top actors.

Director Spike Jonze did away with any traditional "voice recording alone in an audio booth method." He brought his actors together, where they worked on different ways to discover their characters. Catherine O'Hara called their gatherings, "Spike Camp."

"We went to Spike's house up in the woods, played dodge ball," said O'Hara. "He was like what else? He just didn't let go until we would let go."

"We would do little fights, like throwing bread at each other," said actor Forest Whitaker. "He was so present and willing to be mixed with us completely that you join and follow that."

The film pushes all sorts of technical boundaries, which caused the production schedule to last for years.

"I am relieved that it is coming out. And once this big thing is over I can go home and take a nap," said Records.

"Where the Wild Things Are" is rated PG.

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