‘Let the wild rumpus start!” shouted a college-aged male at the midnight showing last Thursday night of Where the Wild Things Are. He was clad in matching cloud pajamas and he completed his tribute to the boy king of of the wild things by wearing a Burger King paper crown.

Like most everyone there, we’d found out, courtesy of Twitter, that Mission Valley in Raleigh would be hosting an early showing of the film. Our excitement was two-fold: This was, amazingly enough, Spike Jonze’s first theatrical feature film in seven yearssince Adaptationbut also because Maurice Sendak’s children’s book is a staple of for three generations of children. We were curious to see how Jonze would turn a 338-word picture book into a 94-minute film.

Judging from the turnout of 20-somethings at the midnight screening, we weren’t the only ones intrigued.

Inside Mission Valley’s theater 2, shiny metallic fringe covered the screen instead of the usual velvet curtain. More special accoutrements appeared, mostly in the form of a proliferation of BK crowns. One particularly generous soul, who’d evidently taken way more than the suggested limit, even offered the crowd his extra BK crowns.

We carefully affixed our crowns, which were clearly intended for a 6-year-old sized head (evidently the marketing department at BK didn’t get the memo on this movie’s true target demographic). A sea of paper crowns rose in front of us. We were now all kings and queens of our own menagerie of wild things.

The thief who’d passed out his bounty of crowns now wanted to take a picture of the anointed crowd. We all raised our arms in celebration of our makeshift monarchical authority.

Then the lights dimmed and for the next hour and a half, we all relived our childhoods and laughed with the film that has been about 10 years in the making. For a brief time, we were the wild things. Even if we only have those BK crowns to prove it.