Where The Wild Things Are: The Wild Rumpus Edition
Intercutting between the real and the wild world, the Wild Rumpus edition takes us inside the mind of Max as he tries to understand the complexities of the world around him in the only way he knows how…
In the film itself, Max was a precocious little boy, sometimes pretty annoying – pretty much the same as the boy in the story. But to me that first trailer promised so much more – a story of a sad, lonely quiet boy, and his imaginative escape to the only place he feels able to cope with life – The world of the Wild Things.
In addition to replacing the soundtrack and trying to match the tone of the first trailer, the movie has also been trimmed down to the essentials – the story of Max. This is a non-linear take on the story, allowing us to directly contrast Max’s experiences in the real world with his imaginitive escape to the world of the wild things.
I hope you enjoy it.
Special thanks to those who reviewed a workprint and gave great feedback, including L8wrtr, Neglify and Geminigod.
Extra special thanks to Quickcut, for taking the time to design fantastic DVD and Bluray cover art designs, including multiple drafts.
- NTSC DVD-5
- AVCHD (DVD-9)
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
- Film Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Visual Commentary
- Original Trailer
- Fanedit Trailers
- Soundtrack Music Videos
- Storybook Edit
(AVCHD release features film and commentary only)
- Wake Up
- We used to Wait
- Creature Fear
- #1 Vaka
- Acts of Man
- Way to Blue
- Ragged Wood
- Sun it Rises
- Helplessness Blues
- 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.
Seamless edit. The restructuring worked so much better than the original film. The music was a vast improvement in my opinion. This is absolutely my go to version of this movie. Great work!
The film already had wonderful visuals, but njvc managed to put the magic of childhood into it. Keeping the focus entirely on Max, while trimming away the things that would make us wish he hadn't - this is the now the experience it always should have been. What a brilliant transformation.
Whether someone was a fan of the original film or not, I recommend you give this version a shot. It's a ride worth taking.
My review is based on the blu-ray version of the fanedit.
Technically, it was brilliant. There wasn't a single cut audio or visual that indicated this was a fanedit. I was really surprised by this. Removing and replacing music, that can be a really difficult task, but had I not seen the original, I would not have known this was a fanedit. I really liked all the music choices too (well, one exception mentioned below)
Narrative was mostly fantastic. I did not care for the original. In the original the kid was annoying and bratty and that's not how I like my main characters to be. Cutting all of his unlikeable scenes actually made him tolerable in this version.
I didn't really get the ending at first though. It was so fast, all of a sudden the movie was over and I was left with "wait, what just happened, how's it over" I had to rewind it to watch again because it really comes up on you. If you look away for 5 seconds, literally you miss the whole thing. After rewatching though, it's actually much darker than I noticed naturally. I think this was one area where the music didn't really work. It sounded like a happy ending, but upon rewinding and rewatching the last 30 seconds, I was like "wait a minute, that's not happy at all, this is actually a really dark ending." The implications of that last interaction with his mom and the camera zoom on his outfit really is a much darker ending than the music and title screen seemed to indicate.
I highly recommend this edit. I especially would recommend this edit to be shown to others as an introduction to fanedits. I suspect that everyone who has seen the original will like this version better and anyone who hasn't seen the original would never even realize this wasn't original - and when told, they'd have no interest in going back.
Enjoyment: 9 (original 4)
Whoa. I just watched this edit and I felt I must immediately write a review. This might turn into a rant or a stream of consciousness, that happens when I'm still working out my thoughts. Anyway, this edit right here, this edit is astounding.
I have to make a confession: I have not seen the theatrical version of Where the Wild Things Are. Now, don't worry. I own it, it was given to me as a gift some time ago. But before I ever got around to watching it, I saw NJVC was doing an edit. So I read his general reasons for editing, and I realized that he was crafting WTWTA into the film I already thought it was. I too was mesmerized by that theatrical trailer. I loved the book as a child, and something about that trailer just felt so right to me. So when I read what NJVC was doing, I knew I couldn't watch the theatrical when something better was on the way. (As to why it's taken me this long - who knows. I guess the part of me that didn't believe the book should be made into a movie got in the way.)
This movie is beautiful. More specifically, this movie is beautiful because of this edit. This edit is beautiful. I felt it best to read the changes before writing the review - so I have some sort of idea as to what NJVC did (his editing is invisible as far as I can see), and wow, he did a lot. Honestly, I don't want to watch the theatrical version. Before I watched this all I could remember from the ITW thread was that the film was re-scored. Now, my first thought as to the changes is "why didn't the filmmakers intercut the real and fake world? Why was Max a brat?" etc. But that's not really fair. I'm not going to say that. What I am going to say is that NJVC made some absolutely brilliant editing choices.
This really is quite a unique film, at least now it is because of NJVC. What we have here is like something I've never seen before. It's less a traditional 'movie' and more of an emotional cinematic experience. It's like a Terence Malick film... if all the voice-overs were replaced with indie rock. It's truly amazing, and, like I said before, quite beautiful.
My one qualm is in the ending. I like how it's edited and it flows well, but I'm not sure I'm okay with it's implication. It seems to reverse Max's arc in the film. He finally learned to quit imagining friends, but after his mom ignores him again he's back to where the wild things are. Reminds me of an alcoholic. I don't know, I might be okay with it, I'm just not sure yet. A happier ending would have been Max finally playing with a real kid. But maybe this (somewhat cynical) ending is more realistic. And, well, the wild things will keep Max happy. I don't know, I have to think about it some more.
Looking back at the change list I'm certain I don't want to watch the theatrical version. I'd like to pretend that this is it. I feel like if I watched the theatrical version it would take away from the magic. Like if I watched the raw footage from a Terence Malick film. This is an incredible edit and I'm sure I'll see it again and again. Nice work.
Excellent, when I was done watching this edit, I went and kissed both of my kids on the forehead as they slept. This was a truly beautiful movie and this edit took it to another level. The new soundtrack was amazing. This edit was great, and is a must watch.