A feature length adaptation of a forty-eight page picture book was always going to be a difficult task, but Spike Jonze does his best to encapsulate the short story’s sense of adventure.
Similarly to Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox (which I thoroughly enjoyed, if you’re asking), it’s best not to consider this as a children’s movie. A lot of critic snobbery revolved around the fact that kids won’t ‘get it’, but really it doesn’t feel like it’s made for them. Instead, it’s made for adults who can look back fondly at the age of innocence and unbridled sense of storytelling and story-making which we all embraced in our formative years.
With an indie-troubadour cast and director, not to mention an omnipresent soundtrack from Brooklyn darling Karen O, this was never going to strike a chord in the hearts of children. But, if you’re a sap like me, you’ll enjoy this ninety minutes of escapism and adventure.
THE GOOD: The puppeteers and costume design is sublime and should have received academy award appraisal.
THE BAD: Harsh as it may sound, the central child actor is infuriating.