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Where the Wild Things Are: The Wild Rumpus Edition

njvc

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The original trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are" featured "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire. It set the scene, featuring Spike Jonze's beautiful direction and the stunning cinematography, made all the more incredible by Arcade Fire's anthem, and the fact that Max didn't say a word. It remains my favourite movie trailer of all time.

The film itself to me was a disappointment. I can totally understand why Spike created the film in the way he did - Max is 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.

This new edit features an entirely new soundtrack performed by many great artists, including Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, Nick Drake and of course, Arcade Fire. Dialogue has been stripped down wherever possible, creating more of an empahsis on the music and the visuals to tell the story. The intention is to better match the tone of the initial trailer, and to create a more subtle and introspective interpretation of the film.

This is a also a non-linear take on the story, where Max escapes many times to the world of the wild things, not just one time. This allows for a very different approach to telling the story, where we gradually learn why Max feels the need to escape, and progressively discover exactly what the wild world represents to him. This non-linear edit of the film also features a new ending to the original.




Original Running Time: 1hr 42mins
Fanedit Running Time: 1hr 16mins

Cut List
- Re-sequenced entire film, cutting back and forth between real and wild world to directly contrast what max is experiencing.

- 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 cave/model scene

- Removed soundtrack and added new foley to max lying in bed thinking about dad 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 angry 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 behind the scenes footage of scene of Max Records and Spike Jonze, as a short flashback (father and son) during "Way to Blue".

- Added foley (due to audio replacement) during KW and Max's last conversation in the woods.

- 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.

Wild Rumpus Soundtrack:

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

Special Features
- Film Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Visual Commentary
- Original Trailer
- Fanedit Trailers
- Soundtrack Music Videos
- Storybook Edit


Release Info:

Film + Special Features:
- SL NTSC DVD (4.7GB)
- SL Bluray 1080p (25GB) - (9.4GB as a zipped downloadable file)

Film + Commentary Only:
- DL AVCHD 780p (8.5GB)

Release date
- February 2012
 

geminigod

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Hopefully I'll have time to write up a more detailed review soon after re-watching the official release, but just in case... I will quickly comment on my experience watching the nearly final cut.

For anybody reading this who is on the fence about checking it out, don't be. This is one of the most significant fanedits I have ever seen. I say that not just because it is beautiful and heart-wrenching and expertly edited. The Wild Rumpus Edition is dramatic, psychological, and a totally different experience from the original.

There are many fanedits that take a movie and make it better. There are very few fanedits that create a completely new viewing experience. The new soundtrack is superb but even more important is the way in which njvc has abstracted this story into something far more thought provoking.

10/10
 

QuickCut

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I'll be watching this soon. I actually haven't seen the original, and I had been planning to watch it, but I opted to watch this first to get the whole experience. Then I'll probably see the original so that I can compare the two, but for now I'll just watch this one. I should be able to post a review in a couple of days :)
 

Neglify

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I'm with GemGod. This was an incredibly beautiful edit. Absolutely perfect!

10/10!!
 

ssj

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njvc: i had intended to see the original first, but after reading your reasons for creating this FE, i think i'd like to see the better version first—the one that more closely sets the mood of the book i enjoyed in childhood. looking forward to it!
 

veggieguy12

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Where is this available for download?
I was a bit disappointed by the original - just a bit. I think this quieter, more solemn, introspective version will be great!
The soundtrack certainly is good stuff...
 

g1orkatsos

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can't wait for this to finally download!
 

njvc

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For anyone wanting to download this today, PM me for links, as there are a few issues to sort out with the page on .info. I've let the admins know, so hopefully won't be too long before it's up and running again.
 

veggieguy12

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The 8.5GB AVCHD has only the movie & commentary, but the single-layer DVD has the film with commentary and additional videos; is that because the video quality is far better on the AVCHD disc? And does your AVCHD disc beat what a dual-layer DVD can offer for video quality?
 

njvc

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The AVCHD is 780p of HD goodness. So yes, a lot better than what DVD can offer, but no room for all the extras.

The Bluray is the answer if you want the best of both worlds - HD (1080p) + all of the extras.
 

QuickCut

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I had time to watch the first half of the edit and I absolutely loved it so far - I'll post a detailed review when I've finished it. One question though: is there a reason that the "Where the Wild Things Are" logo is shown twice? Seems like you should have moved the freeze frame to the frame right before the normal "Where the Wild Things Are" title appears so that we don't see the title twice. Otherwise, beautiful work. The music and real world/wild world parallels are near perfect.
 

njvc

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Thanks quickcut. I see the freeze frame as more of a character introduction for Max than a second title card. It clarifies who our wild thing is from the outset. But Neg made the same comment, so I can definitely appreciate the suggestion. I tried a version without it, and preferred having it in the film, so decided to leave it as is.

Looking forward to your review!
 

geminigod

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QuickCut said:
I had time to watch the first half of the edit and I absolutely loved it so far - I'll post a detailed review when I've finished it. One question though: is there a reason that the "Where the Wild Things Are" logo is shown twice? Seems like you should have moved the freeze frame to the frame right before the normal "Where the Wild Things Are" title appears so that we don't see the title twice. Otherwise, beautiful work. The music and real world/wild world parallels are near perfect.

Instead of the still frame with the narration, it might have felt better to just have a black screen with the narration, but I absolutely love how that narration and the video clip that follows sets the stage for the entire rest of the movie and gets the audience into this boy's head. In 60 seconds flat I am hooked and right there with Max. Page 1 immersion just like with any good children's story.

ssj said:
njvc: i had intended to see the original first, but after reading your reasons for creating this FE, i think i'd like to see the better version first—the one that more closely sets the mood of the book i enjoyed in childhood. looking forward to it!

Lovers of the book as children (me included) should keep in mind that in some ways Max is less like the book Max in this edit than he was in the theatrical edition. This didn't bother me at all though.
 

Neglify

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njvc said:
Thanks quickcut. I see the freeze frame as more of a character introduction for Max than a second title card. It clarifies who our wild thing is from the outset. But Neg made the same comment, so I can definitely appreciate the suggestion. I tried a version without it, and preferred having it in the film, so decided to leave it as is.

IIRC, that was my only negative comment about it. When I got to the end of the edit I could care less about that freeze frame title card.
 

Neglify

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Just finished rewatching this edit, this time with the commentary.

I must say, this is an early contender for FanEdit of the Year for 2012 (along with 21 Grams Rebalanced).

Where The Wild Things Are: The Wild Rumpus Edition is masterful!
 

QuickCut

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Here's my review!

I haven’t seen the original (YET) so I can’t compare it to this edit, but I can say that this edit is one of THE BEST FANEDITS I have ever seen. The music is spot-on and the cutting between the real and wild world is perfect.

Technical quality – 10/10 – I was really anxious to see this, so I opted to DL the DVD first and once I get a chance to pick up some BD’s, I’ll watch the Blu-ray. But even on DVD, the video quality was gorgeous. I was listening to the audio on headphones, and it was very sharp.

Editing – 10/10 – I can’t even explain how well the addition of new songs and the nonlinear style of storytelling worked. njvc has pulled both of these off incredibly well. There were no hard cuts at all, and the whole movie seemed very streamlined and well paced.

Presentation – 10/10 – the menus were very nice and I’m glad njvc took the time to name the chapters – some editors avoid this. The extras were really great. I must admit that I did not listen to the entire commentary, as I had just watched the edit, but from what I saw it was very well thought out. The deleted scenes were very informative, as I have not seen the original, and helped me understand more the purpose behind this edit and how it was pulled off. Then there was a magnificent Storybook Edit that takes the narration of the book and combines it with clips from the movie. The original trailer is a nice addition as well, since it was the inspiration for the edit, and the nice collection of FE trailers was entertaining. Two great music videos are also included. All in all, I can say the menus and extras were very well designed indeed. I can also say that the cover art is top-notch (wink wink).

Entertainment – 10/10 – well, let’s start at the start. I was hooked from the very beginning. The opening sequence of Max playing with his dog and the accompanying music caught my attention right away and never let go. The switches between the real world and the wild world were so incredible that I couldn’t believe the original DIDN’T tell the story in a nonlinear format. njvc picked the right scenes to switch to, and pulled it off masterfully. He also selected a soundtrack of indy-rock songs that fit the mood so perfectly that it gave me chills in a couple parts. The new ending was, quite simply, beyond perfect. All I can say is, this edit combined the original video with new music to deliver a really powerful emotional experience and was extremely entertaining. In fact, I only have two (very minor) suggestions: the first is the title appearing a second time on the freeze frame. I thought about this some more and then thought it would be cool if you just changed this title to the title of your edit and omitted the first title (totally up to you of course, this really didn’t have any effect on the edit overall). Secondly, if you could somehow intercut between the snowball scene and the scene where the Wild Things throw rocks at each other to draw a parallel, that would be really amazing. Either way though, this is one of the best edits I have seen. It was also really cool to see my name in the credits (thanks njvc!).

Overall – 10/10
 

QuickCut

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By the way, do I get one of those snazzy "Cover Artist" badges under my name now? :-D ;-)
 

veggieguy12

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Hey njvc, did you ever consider using any audio from an audiobook reading of the story?
 

QuickCut

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There's narration from the book in his storybook edit, as well as in the opening of the edit itself.
 
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