Yesterday, a film critic said something a little troubling about the ‘little boy’ character (Max) in Where the Wild Things Are – a film that “tells the story of a rambunctious & sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are.” The critic (a fella that I greatly respect, by the way) said that “Max seems too old to behave in the tumultuous manner he does within the film.”
Hmm……while I can agree with him (to a point) in regards to how he may view it from a filmmaker’s standpoint……hmm……
One of the biggest reasons why I always loved the book is because the story celebrates the real freedom a child can have when he/she taps into his/her imagination.
Imagination is a powerful thing for a kid – you can be an astronaut, a bumble bee, a princess…or even a princess bumble bee that just became an astronaut. One’s imagination is expansive, wonderous, safe and fun. So when a grown up like a movie critic says that a kid is behaving too rambunctiously or causing too much of a ruckus when he/she goes to a ‘safe place’ where the Wild Things are, I have to take pause. Not only because it goes against what being ‘a kid’ is all about; but also because I believe it has ruined the fun of being an adult.
When you were a kid, you couldn’t wait to be a grown up – drive your own car, go down the big slide at the water park, stay up late (on a SCHOOL NIGHT)…you get my meaning. But when you grew up, something awful happened – you realized that you couldn’t be driving willy-nilly on sidewalks; you got impatient for having to wait in line for that big slide; and you turned in at a ‘respectable time’ because you had to be at work in the morning.
This business of being a grown up has also gotten in the way of real innovation and discovery. Can you imagine what crazy-cool things were to come about if we were not only encouraged, but rewarded for being creative at work…?…taking folks to where your wild things are…?…no, not everyone can be a Tom Waits, Dr. Maya Angelou or Blue Man Group. But you can have their energy and verve for pushing some boundaries, asking important questions and challenging the norm.
Be a Wild Thing. Try being the person that demands more from your communications peers; creates out-of-the-box ways to deliver a message to your client’s target audiences; plays nice & fair with competitors; and pushes clients to step outside of their comfort zone (ever-so-carefully).
You never know what you can accomplish when you observe the world through fresh-n-wild eyes.