This Monday Movie Music Moment is a little peculiar, only because it’s not actually taken directly from a film. It does, however, contribute equally as much to the greatness of the movie – because I can guarantee it caught the attention of millions with the first few notes of a contemporary classic.
This Monday I want to highlight one of the most – if not the most – heartwarming, eye and ear-catching film trailers I’ve seen to date. I remember sitting in a theatre a few years ago, popcorn and jumbo fountain pop in hand, and watching motionlessly as the opening scene of the preview for what immediately looked to be a re-creation of Maurice Sendak’s famous children’s story Where The Wild Things Are rolled on the screen. The celebrated story (which I was read too many times to count as a kid) follows a rebellious little boy who, after being sent to his room by his Mother without dinner, creates an imaginary world of creatures in his mind where he is the worshipped King – only to have the adventure of a lifetime, and inevitably miss home.
Starting with the lead character Max slumped over the shoulders of one of his imagination’s “Wild Things”, the preview flows into the opening acoustic strums that are right away identifiable as those of the powerful anthem “Wake Up” from Arcade Fire’s debut album Funeral.
What I found most captivating about Spike Jonze’s use of this song, was that even though I’ve played this song repeatedly since my late high school days – when paired with the imagery of a sensitive, curious and mischievous young boy looking for a fulfilling escape from a world he doesn’t understand – it suddenly became more perfect than I could’ve ever imagined. The song, which made sense to me all along, suddenly made so much more sense when set to scenes of Max’s adventure and the imaginary adventures I know I took as a kid.
“If the children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up,” lead singer Win sings to a montage of Max’s changing life in the real world, before setting off into the booming orchestral chorus, flashes of his journey and wonderful life messages printed across screen. Since the song is about the insecurities of growing up, the disenchantment of what that might entail and the hurt that reality can sometimes bring – it’s a perfect representation of this book and the lovely message of exploring, getting older, missing home and just having to adjust.
I still get chills every time I watch this preview – so it’s definitely an example of perfect song selection, in a nutshell. Enjoy!
* Also, the rest of the soundtrack (which was put together by Karen O, lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is pretty amazing; “Rumpus” is infectious!