2009 PG 94 minutes
Max (Max Records) imagines running away from his mom and sailing to a far-off land where large talking beasts -- Ira, Carol, Douglas, the Bull, Judith and Alexander -- crown him as their king, play rumpus, build forts and discover secret hideaways. Producer Tom Hanks and director Spike Jonze bring Maurice Sendak's whimsical story to life with the voice talents of James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Forest Whitaker and Catherine O'Hara.
My first reaction was "where the little jerk is", but then I realized that was the point and settled in to let the fable unfold. Reasonably entertaining but somber at the same time, it does a pretty good job of describing the feeling of watching childhood end, at least from an adult's perspective. I'm not sure that a ten-year-old would get that. Max is a fine actor and the voice actors and CGI'd special effects were good, and certainly unique.
It's nice that the producers remember the uniqueness of boyhood rather than cramming his psycho moments into a little girl's framework. The ending circles back to the problem at the beginning - a worn out mother and no father - without comment or irony. I guess that's just the way it's supposed to be.