Whether or not children will embrace the film is questionable. I simply can't help but hope that they will. It's a truly magical and mysterious film which feels delicately woven and yet utterly natural. To question a scene, a moment, a frame seems superfluous. It is what it is and it is best simply to allow it to wash over you. It is, after all, an experience film. The narrative is simple: rambunctious Max causes trouble at home and flees to a magical island where he meets the "wild things" who reflect to him his own animal anxieties. Plot is not a major component here, nor should it be. It's a film about irrational feelings, sensory experiences, and gradual transitions. It is subtle and beautiful both in its gentle story and stunning visual style. Jonze's decision to portray the titular creatures through the use of elaborate puppet suits rather than CGI makes this a decidedly timeless film which tickles the imagination. It's a brave choice which pays off tremendously in making the audience feel for the giant, furry beasts who are almost certainly imaginary even in the narrative space of the film.
Ultimately, Spike Jonze's dreamy, gold-tinged euphoric adolescent fantasia will be a love it or hate it experience based on whether the moody haze of the film is found intoxicating or simply dull. There is no bare bones plot to keep the stragglers at bay. It will either grip you or leave you at the starting gate. Either way, there's doubtless a film with more nerve and raw passion to be released all year. That such a gorgeous, non-commercial masterpiece has managed to open in 3,500 theaters seems miraculous. A treat for everyone nationwide.