After much delay, today marks the release of the film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild the Things Are. Like countless others who now span generations, I've adored Sendak's characters since childhood. It's been one of my favorites since the day my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Morandini, read it to the class. 17 years later, when McFarlane Toys translated the illustrations into 3-dimensional figures, I was obsessed with tracking down the full set.
The characters likenesses were perfectly translated, right down to the cross-hatched, wood-cut texture and muted water-color palette. These figures have been a treasure in my toy collection for nearly a decade. I'm so excited to share them with you.
For this week's Show and Tell feature, please allow me to do something different. I'm done talking about them, and I'm not merely interested in showing them to you. With the help of Thomas Ruffo's photography skills, I want to transport you to their world as I once was as a five year-old.
Join me after the jump, into the land where the wild things are.
Feeling incredibly restless on one special morning, the wild things embarked on a long trek to the far end of the land.
Arriving at their destination, they tried to enjoy themselves. Even in a new location, their boredom remained.
Until the tiny Goat-Boy spied a ship arriving at shore.
The others ran as fast as they could to see the cause of Goat-Boy's excitement. This was something new!
From the boat stepped a boy dressed as a wolf. Moishe would gain enjoyment from scaring the child. But the boy was not scared. He returned the mean gaze without so much as a blink in his eyes. The others watched in awe.
This was cause for a special celebration. They knew this fearless child would return excitement to their lives.
They climbed and climbed until they reached their special place...
...where they proclaimed Max the King of all wild things.
Max's first decree as ruler of the land was a simple one. He roared out to his new subjects, "Let the wild rumpus begin!"
Moishe, Tzippy, and the rest of the creatures were overjoyed. This was exactly the sort of adventure for which they had been craving.
Emil came alive with a newfound energy as they frolicked across the land.
This old world that they had become so dull to them, was suddenly fresh and new.
Aaron climbed to new heights that day. He was amazed to find new areas to explore. Much of this once tired, old world had been taken for granted.
As the sun began to descend from the sky, Max wanted a new place to play with his new friends.
Bernard and Tzippy lead the way, taking Max deeper into the forest.
The wild things were surprised to discover the beauty that they had taken for granted.
This world contained enjoyment and surprises at nearly every turn. They simply needed someone to show them where to look.
What fun they could have amongst each other! How could they have forgotten?
The sun was setting. It would soon be dark.
Surely the night would bring an end to their enjoyment.
"No way," shouted Max. The adventure would continue so long as he still had the strength to move.
The creatures were overjoyed. Max would outlast them all.
They could hardly keep up with the boy's energy and enthusiasm.
Max called the wild things all together.
He told them scary stories that made their hair, fur, and feathers stand on end.
But something was missing. A night like this called for a campfire. They happily set out to fulfill his wish.
Now, this was a perfect night!
The monsters roared.
The monsters howled.
They danced and they played...
...until they all had run out of energy. Even Max had reached his limit of fun for the day.
The wild things made their king a place to sleep.
They went back to their own resting spots to sleep for the rest of the night.
Morning came and Max ran to his boat. He was ready to return home. The wild things were very upset and even angered. "We love you so!"" "You can't leave." "We'll eat you up!"
Max payed them no attention and went on his way. They were saddened and they each dealt with it in their own ways.
They would always be thankful that he came, for he showed them all that their boring old world was a wonderful place. All they needed was to remember how to have fun.
I want to thank Tom for his time and talents in helping to knock this project out of the park. Thanks also to Sandy Stenzel, who managed to find me the final figure for my collection all those years ago. And to Andrea Barbee for adding the book to my collection. Most of all, I want to thank my friends, both new and old, who have reminded me how to have fun again. This one's for you!
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