Is "Where the Wild Things Are" A Modern "Godzilla's Revenge"?

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Excerpt: Melancholy to the Max: 'Where the Wild Things Are' - A Review / By: John Beifuss

As you probably know, I generally don't post reviews from other writers, outside the MIN staff and friends, but I found this review on "Where the Wild Things Are" by John Beifuss for the "The Bloodshot Eye" very interesting.

To be specific, I found his comparison of Spike Jonze's latest movie to the 1968 film "Godzilla's Revenge" very interesting.

After reading the piece, the whole thing made sense, I mean, the stories are both very similar, as in, both feature a young boy who escapes to a mythical place to come to grips with his 'real-life' troubles.

My mind started gelling, and I began to wonder, if indeed, "Wild Things" wasn't in some way inspired by "Revenge"? Then came the 'which came first?' question.

Come to find out that the original children's book, that the new film is based on, was written way back in 1963 by American author Maurice Sendak.

That got me thinking again. Could it be that the Japanese producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and famed director IshirĊ Honda were inspired by the work of Sendak, when coming up with the story for "Godzilla's Revenge"?

After doing some mild research, I could find no citations in regards to "Revenge" that linked the two together.

So I guess this is simply a matter for speculation.

Here is a copy of the paragraph from the John Beifuss that got me all cerebral:

After a fight with his mother, Max runs into the night, until he reaches a boat that takes him to the forested island Where the Wild Things Are. These seven beasts speak in the voices and accents of typical, kvetching adults, but their petty jealousies, shifting alliances, flare-ups of temper and playtime injuries are childlike. Faithfully designed to resemble Sendak's illustrations, the furry, pot-bellied monsters are played by actors in huge suits created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop; computer animation, however, was used to create the expressions that crease the broad faces on their oversized heads. (One may be reminded of the work of Sid & Marty Krofft, but the sensibility is more Japanese; Jonze may have been influenced by the "Yokai Monsters" movies of the 1960s, or even 1969's "All Monsters Attack," in which a young boy travels to Monster Island and befriends several of Toho Studios' man-in-suit creatures. In fact, "Where the Wild Things Are" could be described as a sort of emo "Godzilla's Revenge," as "All Monsters Attack" was renamed for American release.)

See Also: 'Where The Wild Things Are' - Creating A Mythical World To Match The Book / Sneak Previews: Where The Wild Things Are, Whiteout, The Box, Sherlock Holmes And Ninja Assassin / Sneak Preview - Where The Wild Things Are