I understand the precious argument out there about “leaving some books alone.” I used to feel that a book is tainted by a bad theatrical production. (I don’t exactly sit with Moore in thinking they are totally irrelevant, either.)
The thing is, lately, the movies have been doing a pretty good job. The Harry Potter movies are great. I think the choice of a “visionless hack” like Chris Columbus was in retrospect a really smart choice for the first one, because his slavish accuracy created a setting for the other more creative (Cuaron) directors to play with. The Narnia books were a little soppy, but certainly no more so than the books themselves. The screen realization of the first movie was a fucking dream. I was literally trembling for more than half of the movie, and the scenes of the kids walking through the forest in their fur coats so perfectly captured the Pauline Baines illos that I very nearly shit myself. I’ll grant you that if you are a fan of His Dark Materials, you got fairly well dicked over by Hollywood.
Okay, so Where the Wild Things Are is going to be a movie. I hear you bitching. Yes, it’s all of our private treasure. But here’s the thing: Sendak chose Jonze. So that just about settles for me. One more time: Sendak. Chose. Jonze. It almost rhymes with stfu.