Framestore goes to Where the Wild Things Are

One of the highlights of Spoke Jonze's film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is the emotional depth of the Wild Things' performance

One of the highlights of Spoke Jonze's film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is the emotional depth of the Wild Things’ performance.

wherethewild1

It’s a depth that relies on the facial visual-effects work by London studio Framestore, which combines seamlessly with giant physical suits used on-set, and vocal performances from the likes of James Gandolfini and Forest Whitaker to enhance a movie that perfectly captures the exuberance, imagination and vulnerability of childhood.

Maurice Sendak’s book details the journey of Max – a rebellious little boy – to the land of the Wild Things. Here he wins over the creatures and becomes king, before returning to the safety of home. It’s all told in only 300 words, accompanied by the iconic illustrations that have inspired budding designers and artists since its release in 1963.

The film version – expanded thanks to a script by Dave Eggers – examines his unsettled home life and his adventures in a land born from Max’s imagination and ordered by the abstract logic of the playground.

To bring this world to life in a frame of magic realism, Jonze first captured video and audio of the voice actors performing their lines in a studio. Other actors inside 10-foot costumes then created physical performances on-set to match those of the voice actors.

Finally, Framestore added CG faces so expressive that you quickly forget that they’re CG, making the film even more involving. This approach gave the film a hand-made look, rather than the curiously obvious feel of full-CG creatures based on motion-capture data, such as Lord of the Rings’ Gollum.

wherethewild2

For the team at Framestore, the project began with an unusual brief. Jonze sent them a video he’d filmed of Sendak, who told them fiercely to “make this the best thing you’ve ever done – no futzing around.”

Jonze himself implored them to make sure “these creatures lived and had a soul”. But for many on the team, the driving factor was to help recreate a book that was a huge presence in their own childhoods.

“I remember the book vividly from my childhood,” says 2D supervisor Sirio Quintavalle. “The expressions, the loneliness, the sense of mischief and the comfort of being home again. It is such a powerful book: one that frightened me yet I kept finding myself being drawn back to it.”

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Neil Bennett

Digital Arts Magazine
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?