Wednesday, September 02, 2009

But, Truly, Where Are These Wild Things You Speak Of?

From: Blaine Tisch

To: Warner Bros. marketing (global list)

Re: Incorrect punctuation in marketing materials for Where the Wild Things Are film


Hello all.

First, I’d like to apologize again for this mishap. I understand that correcting it will come at considerable cost to the studio, but rest assured that the problem is in the process of being remedied as quickly as possible.

This note is to explain that I have found out where, exactly, the problem arose. The culprit seems to be one Philomena Arnoldi, a proofer in the marketing department who has been working with Warner Bros. since 1985. Why she holds this position, exactly, I am not sure, as her grasp of English sentence mechanics is shaky at best.

Upon speaking with various members of the proofing department at length about the question mark erroneously affixed to the end of the film’s title on various posters, press packets, TV commercials, certain versions of the trailer, and all incarnations of the various Where the Wild Things Are video games, I eventually arrived at Ms. Anoldi’s office — which exists in a room that I previously thought was only used to store old furniture — and asked her if she was, in fact, the person who inserted this punctuation mark. My question was quickly answered by her response, “Who you are? Why you come here?” I explained the problem with the misprinted materials, but Ms. Arnoldi either refused to listen or simply did not understand the situation. She continued in the same vein as before, asking “Why you lie?,” “Why you bother Philomena?,” “Why you make Philomena cry?,” etc. She eventually chased me away by repeatedly rapping me on the head with a wooden spoon that she had been using to stir a pot of what appeared to be marinara sauce. (Again, why her office has a working stove is but one more of the mysteries I have stumbled across in attempting to get to the bottom of all this.)

I have no idea how the duty of proofing these specific materials was given to Ms. Arnoldi or why her “correction” was not double-checked with anyone else in the department. After some extensive research, I have been unable to determine what else, if anything Ms. Arnoldi has done during her time here at Warner Bros. aside from cause what those throughout the company have recently dubbed The Question Mark Fiasco. However, I do find it interesting that Ms. Arnoldi came to Warner Bros. after leaving TriStar pictures shortly after a similar mismarketing incident involving that company’s 1984 release Where the Boys Are. (VHS tapes bearing the title Where the Boys Are? are, however, considered rare and extremely valuable among movie collectors, I have learned.)

Below see the misprinted Where the Wild Things Are posted above to a similarly misprinted one for Where the Boys Are.

In addition to further work that must be done as far as reprinting all relevant promotional material with the correct title, I suggest that the simplest way to deal with Ms. Arnoldi — thereby eliminating the possibility of a similar fate befalling our 2011 release of Where the Red Fern Grows — would be to offer her a comfortable retirement package. Given that she is 94 years old, I am confident that she would accept. The representative offering the deal, however, should be prepared to either explain it in Italian or simply raise his intonation at the end of every sentence.

Once again, sincere apologies. Thank you for your patience with this situation.

Blaine Tisch
Assistant Director of Marketing
Warner Bros. Pictures


  1. I feel like such a nerd for loving this. But then, that's no surprise. Thanks for the laugh. I just know that someday she will figure out where the question mark goes?

  2. That's hysterical and unfortunate!

  3. Hey, Drew! Thanks for the comment! As you may have noticed from my blog, catching mistakes is what I do. No harm intended, I just want to make the web a better place.