Where the wild things are wild rumpus

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Where the wild things are wild rumpus

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Wild Rumpus Soundtrack Details Arcade Fire - Wake Up - We used to Wait Bon Iver - Flume - Creature Fear Sigur Ros - Glosili - Heysatan - #1 Vaka Midlake - Acts of Man Nick Drake - Way to Blue Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood - Sun it Rises

- Helplessness Blues

CUT LIST/Edits - Re-sequenced entire film, cutting back and forth between real and wild world to directly contrast what max is experiencing. - Replaced almost the entire soundtrack. - Cut max’s journey to the wild things by boat. First cut to the wild world sees max already in stormy seas arriving at the island. - Stripped back dialogue between wild things when Max first sees them. Dialogue has been simplified wherever possible. - Cut all bad behaviour/anger by max in early stages of the film. Have kept him quiet/sad, hopefully increasing our sympathy for him. - Cut Max calling to his sister to play with him. again, tried to keep him a loner, struggling to know how to connect with people. - Cut much of the original soundtrack (mostly replaced by new indie-rock songs) - Trimmed dialogue between max and wild things before he becomes king - Cut KW’s introduction. INstead, we meet her when Max does, at the bottom of the wild thing pile. - Turned walk with Carol through the woods into a dream sequence. - Removed tinkly piano from ‘did you know the sun was going to die” scene, and added wind foley to make the scene more desolate. - Removed Dog. Didn’t want a joke at the end of the sun dying scene. wanted to keep the tone serious. - Simplified dialogue in dave/model scene - Removed soundtrack and added new foley to max lieing in bed thinking scene. - Removed max telling mum a story. again, kept him quiet and sad as much as possible. - Removed wild things building fort scenes. Max can just imagine that the fort is already built. - Reversed shot of Max looking at Carol to better match transition from real world - Cut max being mean to Judith. Makes her more threatening and him more sympathetic. - Cut KW introducing Max to Bob and Terry as a ‘biter’ - Cut knock knock joke between bob, terry and alexander. Better not to know if they can actually speak/understand English. - Trimmed Carol’s reaction to bob and terry - Removed “everyone’s mad at me” line from Carol on the beachside. - Removed Max giving instructions about the war to the wild things. Cut straight to action instead. - Cut pause during war where Judith and Ira hide behind a log. Kept things moving for pacing reasons. - Cut Max stepping on KW and KW saying she is leaving. Needed to be removed to help aid the fluidity of the transition back to the real world. - Cut strange expression on Max’s face in the Kitchen. - Trimmed running away from home footage. - Cut Carol’s reference to KW having run away and Max needing to get her back. - Added foley (forest, waves) during Nick Drake song. - Added scene of Max and Spike Jonez, as a short flashback (father and son) - Added foley (due to audio replacement) during KW and Max’s last conversation. - Extended footage of journey home by boat, using deleted footage from earlier in the film.

- Completely new ending, showing reveal of the ‘actual’ wild things, and implying that Max is headed back to the Wild Things again afterall.

Cover art by QuickCut (DOWNLOAD HERE)

Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus


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Who among us doesn't enjoy a good rumpus? We know that any time we've gone more than a week or two without one, we start to suffer from rumpus withdrawal.

Wait…what's a rumpus?

Well, it's any sort of loud commotion, really. Like a roomful of kindergartners on a sugar high right after lunch or that party you threw while your parents were out of town that got so wild it woke up the neighbors. And they just had to rat you out. Watch your backs, Hendersons…

In Where the Wild Things Are, a young boy named Max announces the start of the "wild rumpus," in which he and his new wild friends are about to get jiggy with it…in their own special way. There's a lot of stomping and bouncing around. It's not especially graceful, but they seem to be having fun with it, so…we won't judge.

P.S. Lots of folks misquote this one as "Let the wild rumpus begin!" And we're gonna be honest: that kinda has a nicer ring to it. But who are we to question the king of chidlren's lit?

Where you've heard it

Say the words "let the wild rumpus start!" to a group of two-year-olds, and they'll start dancing their toddler butts off.

Famous lines from children's books tend to entrench themselves more firmly in our vernacular than do lines from adult books. Why? Because we read them as kids, so they've been in our brains longer. Plus, we were young and impressionable.

So the term "wild rumpus" is a fairly common one, and anytime you hear it, you can be sure it's derived from Sendak's classic tale, whether the phrase is altered slightly or preserved in its original wording, as with this "new music collective" or this Minneapolis bookstore.

If your mother ever looks you sternly in the eyes and tells you to cease your "wild rumpus," just do what Max would have done: don a wolf costume and go on an adventure. 

If nothing else, it will be harder for her to reason with you if you're acting totally nuts.

Pretentious Factor

If you were to drop this quote at a dinner party, would you get an in-unison "awww" or would everyone roll their eyes and never invite you back? Here it is, on a scale of 1-10.

Where the wild things are wild rumpus

You don't get much pretension in kids' books, generally, and this one is no exception. It's just a kid, lost in in his own imagination, commanding his imaginary friends to get the party started. Sadly, we do have to move it up a couple notches for using the word "rumpus."


Where the wild things are wild rumpus

May 13, 2015 | Updated: Feb 2, 2022, 12:00 PM EST

Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus

In Maurice Sendak's 1963 children’s book, Max, a little boy in a wolf costume, is sent to bed without supper. So he sails on a boat to a faraway land where he tames the Wild Things, becomes their king, and leads them on a wild rumpus. Here's what you should about about this spare, strange, classic book.

Sendak was working as a children's book illustrator when editor Ursula Nordstrom (who also did Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon, and Harold and the Purple Crayon) offered to let him write his own book. He came up with the title Where The Wild Horses Are, which Nordstrom thought was "so poetic and evocative," according to Sendak. Then Sendak, who was a self-taught artist, discovered that he couldn't draw horses. When he told Nordstrom his problem, she said, "Maurice, what can you draw?"

"Things," he replied.

When developing the monsters for the book, Sendak drew on his childhood memories of his immigrant relatives. His uncles and aunts would come on Sundays and "all say the same dumb things," he recalled:

"How big you are, how fat you got, and you look so good we could eat you up. So the only entertainment was watching their bloodshot eyes and how bad their teeth were. You know, children are monstrously cruel about physical defects—the hair curling out of the nose, the weird mole on the side of the head. And so, you would glue in on that and then you talk about it with your brother and sister later. And they became the Wild Things."

As a child, when Sendak was driving his mother nuts, she would call him "vilde chaya," or wild animal in Yiddish. In the book, the mother calls Max "Wild thing!" and he says, "I'll eat you up!"

Sendak repeatedly said he didn’t try to write for children, he just tried to write about himself and people he knew. The books were a form of self-expression for him. Where The Wild Things Are was based on his experiences living as a child in Brooklyn with his hard-working father and a mother who, in his words, “had problems emotionally and mentally.”

"That’s what art is. I mean, you don't make up stories, you live your life," he said in a 2004interview with Bill Moyer, adding, "I was not Max. I did not have the courage that Max had, and I did not have the mother that Max had."

"I often went to bed without supper because I hated my mother’s cooking,” he said. “So, to go to bed without supper was not a torture to me. If she were going to hurt me, she would make me eat.”

Where The Wild Things Are was an immediate popular and critical success, winning the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Most Distinguished Picture Book. It was also frequently banned for having scary or dark undertones and for a lack of moralizing. In 1969, psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim mentioned the book in his column for Ladies' Home Journal, saying that it would cause fear of desertion in children. He asserted that Sendak didn't understand "the incredible fear it evokes in the child to be sent to bed without supper, and this by the first and foremost giver of food and security—his mother."

Although Bettelheim later admitted he hadn't read the 37-page book, the criticism stuck with Sendak. From then on, he called him "Brutal-heim."

Composer Oliver Knussen wrote a one-act opera based on Where The Wild Things Are, which premiered in Brussels in 1980. Since the Things are unnamed in the book, for the opera, Sendak gave them the names of his relatives: Tzippy, Moishe, Aaron, Emile, and Bernard.

In 1983, Disney owned the film rights to Where The Wild Things Are. While an animated feature never materialized, they did make an animated short about the book to demonstrate 3D animation. There’s also a 1973 cartoon of the book, directed by Gene Deitch.

The 2009 movie, like the book, was criticized for its darker tone. Director Spike Jonze said his goal "wasn't to make a children's movie. I wanted to make a movie about childhood." The struggle over tone led Jonze to move the film from Universal to Warner Bros., where there were more arguments over how to translate the book into live action. When the film came out, it was marketed to adults rather than to children.

Sendak didn't know why Where The Wild Things Are was such a hit, but one thing was for sure: He sure as hell wasn't going to write a follow-up. "People say, 'why don't you do Wild Things 2?' Wild Things 1 was such a success!" he said in an interview with the Tate. "Go to hell. Go to hell."

A version of this story ran in 2015; it has been updated for 2022.

Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus
Where the wild things are wild rumpus