Like countless other folk, I find myself on the edge of my seat, waiting for the release date of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Take a look at the trailer (if you’ve somehow missed it), and I think you’ll see why.
As the daughter of a librarian, I grew up on a heavy diet of Maurice Sendak’s book. But my desire to see the movie stems from more than just nostalgia. It looks absolutely beautiful. It would have been really easy to make a poor film from this book. After all, it’s not long and the creatures are wildly imaginative. But Jonze seems to have done the book justice. (He even got Sendak’s blessing). The little kid, Max, looks absolutely adorable, the artistic direction – amazing, and the soundtrack – excellent.
I picked up the soundrack by Karen O and the Kids yesterday, and I’ve since listened to it, oh, three times. I never really got into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen’s other music project, but I confess I am pretty delighted with what she has done with the Where the Wild Things Soundtrack. I fell in love with the very first song, “Igloo.” Though it is one of the shortest tracks on the album, it’s sheer simplicity and innocence are compelling. Take a listen for yourself.
The tracks are by turn quirky, lovely, and well… a bit wild. Sure, some of the shrieking and chanting may be a bit off putting or cloying, but it seems to be done in such good fun, that even I let it slide. Joining Karen on the album are a handful of talented characters – or Kids – including: Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, The Dead Weather/The Raconteurs Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence, Liars’ Aaron Hemphill, The Bird and the Bee’s Greg Kurstin… oh yeah, and actual children.
All this begs the question… is Grizzly Bear’s signing onto the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack any different than Karen O’s signing onto the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack? (See my recent post about this topic here.) Do we excuse and even congratulate the latter due to the artistic merit of the film and label the former a ‘sell out?’ Does the value of the project affect how we judge their actions? Because let’s be honest here – it’s not as if Where the Wild Things Are is smalltime. This film is going to be seen by millions – probably even more people will see it than Twilight.