Where the Wild Things Are...is in the original book.
Plot summary from wikipedia:
The text consists of only ten sentences. It tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home, "making mischief" in a wolf costume. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them "by staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once", and he is made "the King of all Wild Things", dancing with the monsters in a "wild rumpus". However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick, and he returns home to his bedroom, where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.
This was one of my favourite books when I was a little girl. I could totally relate to the whole inner wild thing concept. Feeling overwhelmed with emotion, not knowing why or what to do with it, but needing some way to release the pent up energy of it. I delighted in the imagery of the wild rumpus and the roaring beasts who gnashed their terrible teeth, and sighed their terrible sighs. And it made perfect sense that young Max's interlude with the wild things was just a temporary one after which, with no explanation needed, life returns to normal.
Where the Wild Things Are NOT...is in the movie.
Somehow I thought the movie slightly misses the mark. It tries too hard to find the meaning behind Max's temper tantrums, the root of his wild thing. The "Wild Things" are still beasts, but they are too personified. They are too full of melancholy and angst. They are not a place of imagination to escape to, but too obviously a broken family in need of fixing. I know the underlying message of the book is about Max sorting out his feelings but, for me, the movie felt too in-your-face about it. Sometimes bursts of emotion really are just a release of pent up energy...that was how I read the book as a child, and I just found that the analytical approach taken in the movie wasn't really for me. I really enjoyed the movie, don't get me wrong. It made a fun mother-daughter date with Sara! And the costumes and visuals were stunningly bang on, totally captured the feel of the book. It was only the slightly "off" direction of the plot that got in the way for me. So I'm going to ignore the movie's attempt to find meanings and stick to my childhood impressions of the storybook, that Max's tantrum was just one of those days...
Long live Max, the King of the Wild Things! :)