Personally, I loved it. It's one of the best films I've seen all year and I'm sure I'm going to be thinking about it heavily for the next few days but as much as the studio would have liked it to be, WWTA is not an all-ages film. Kids in the audience who were jumping up and down with excitement, wearing gold paper crowns before the show started were definitely subdued afterward. Whether that was because it went entirely over their heads or they understood it so well that they were just as deep in thought as I was remains to be seen.
The film's powerful effect was accomplished by a perfect mix of factors - first and foremost, it's director. I truly believe that no one could have made this film other than Spike Jonze and it feels almost like fate that Sendak waited so long to approve a director. I'm still in awe of Jonze and writer Dave Eggers' ability to take the diminutive source material and turn it into something this spectacular.
The most obvious draw of this film are the visuals. Breathtaking is the first word that comes to mind. Location and cinematography were very kind to WWTA and made it easy to accept giant hairy monsters as best friends. The Wild Things themselves? Wow, just wow. A combination of live action, suitmation, animatronics, and CGI were used to make these creatures that strongly reminded me of the assorted characters from The Neverending Story and Labyrinth. It's no surprise really, Jim Henson's Creature Shop were responsible for the suits. The combined effects allow the Wild Things to feel tangible and genuine, right down to the actors expressions mixed in. It's subtle but you can absolutely see each actor's face in their respective monster.