Where the Wild Things Are
In theaters October 16
Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is just ten sentences long, but in the hands of director Spike Jonze (Adaptation) and co-screenwriter Dave Eggers, it's now an eye-popping feature film. Buoyed by the jumping-bean energy of our hero, Max (Max Records), as he forays into a weird forest full of horned, hirsute giants (voiced by James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, and Lauren Ambrose, among others), the movie offers the chance to spend some quality time inside the mind of a crazy-cool kid.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
In theaters November 25
Another all-ages creature feature based on a beloved children's tale (by Roald Dahl, in this case), Fantastic Mr. Fox stars George Clooney voicing the title role of the urbane, sharp-dressed newspaper columnist whose moonlighting gig as a chicken thief raises the ire of local farmers and muddies his relationship with his wife (Meryl Streep) and sulky son (Jason Schwartzman). Directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums) and making nimble use of stop-motion animation (think of the herky-jerky charms of Wallace & Gromit or Corpse Bride), it's as dashing and fleet of foot as Mr. Fox himself.