Where the Wild Things Are

2009 • 100 minutes
3.7
1.36K reviews
73%
Tomatometer
PG
Rating
Eligible
Watch in a web browser or on supported devices Learn More

About this movie

Innovative director Spike Jonze collaborates with celebrated author Maurice Sendak to bring one of the most beloved books of all time to the big screen in "Where the Wild Things Are," a classic story about childhood and the places we go to figure out the world we live in. The film tells the story of Max, a rambunctious and sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are. Max lands on an island where he meets mysterious and strange creatures whose emotions are as wild and unpredictable as their actions. The Wild Things desperately long for a leader to guide them, just as Max longs for a kingdom to rule. When Max is crowned king, he promises to create a place where everyone will be happy. Max soon finds, though, that ruling his kingdom is not so easy and his relationships there prove to be more complicated than he originally thought. MPAA Rating: PG © 2009 KLG Film Invest GmbH. All Rights Reserved.
3.7
1.36K reviews
Kyle Vansteelandt
September 17, 2020
Based on one of the most popular books by Maurice Sendak, the producers (Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Maurice Sendak), and the director (Spike Jonze) has made one of the most brilliant pieces of filmmaking for families I have ever seen with authentic themes about fear, insecurity, & loneliness. Jonze wanted it to stay true to the book, but with a more realistic and deeper approach by coming up with some concepts for the whole plot by giving the story more detail to extend the story without making it tedious, and capturing the real situations of real people that involves real family drama with their kids. And also, as the story progresses, the story brings in a message about what families are about and what makes them so important and very safe. Unlike most movies that are strange, this film is more pleasant and upbeat for it's content, and the emotional value in this film is a little different than the emotional value found in some movies that are strange, because the huge heart in this movie is definitely in the right place. It's amazing to me that a simple story like that could be emotionally effective and so complex, that it's relatable. The film has some beautiful cinematography that provides some uplifting atmosphere and takes us on this fantastical outdoor adventure. The effects are very well executed from the suits/costumes for the performers to the practical effects like Richard the raccoon when held, the trees and shelters that makes us struggle to tell the difference what's real and what's fake. The cast for this film is first-rate; the main character "Max" played by Maxwell Records is a very strong protagonist, he is portrayed as a child that has a wild imagination, but also, someone that is lonely and has nothing but mischief and depression, and as the narrative keeps moving and tries the best of his abilities to use his head while trying to be a king (someone that hi is not), soon enough, he starts to develop. Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini) is an impulsive wild thing that has a good-natured bond towards Max, and they both have some very amusing chemistry that just makes them fun to watch (pretty much like Mowgli and Baloo the bear from the jungle book), but Carol has a lot in common with Max, there is a sense of sadness to him and he is really tempermental. There are some elements that involves with Max and KW (voiced by Lauren Ambrose), and their chemistry has that warm, caring, generosity to it which is very sweet. Judith (voiced by Catherine O' Hara) is pretty funny sometimes when she is loud. And everyone else who voices the wild things are very effective with emotional precision. The film has a few original indie rock songs in the soundtrack, and they are a great fit for the story's elements, most of them are very playful and cheery, and one in particular is tender with a tinge of sadness to it. There is something endearing and emotionally nostalgic about the score composed by Carter Burwell; Carter goes in for somthing innovative and has a lot of genius composition to his score. The effective score is whimsical and beautiful, and it really adds gravity to the mood/emotion of the film. This is a very unique fantasy family film that is pretty much in the tradition of the never-ending story in terms of the weird creature designs for the practical effects, the genre, the books that they were based on, and especially the fact that it does not talk down to it's audience. unique and effective, Spike Jonze's take on the classic story is a faithfully pleasant diversion with a very touching benefit. Highly Recommended!
14 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Noah Morgan
January 15, 2013
I have waited so long for a movie like this: to rekindle my imagination, to make my heart soar, to remind me of how much I miss being a kid...I think everyone sees themselves as a wild thing once in a while, and the creators of this movie realize that. We all just want to run wild and free. This beautiful creation of imagination will always be close to my heart, and I hope it stays close to yours, too. It is so under appreciated, so cherish it. It will not be here forever unfortunately. Don't let it slip away without being recognized :)
21 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Mike Peterson
August 12, 2015
Hey C. Endo & all Others that think (stupid like) that films are to be as a book. Stop going to films that are screen written from books. Films are interpretations of some creative minds & Most Often are Not to be as-the-book-reads. That would be missing the point of creative license of film & book writing which is to use one's imagination. What a creative poor entertainment world if films were all the same as books. Like seeing a remake film & it's line by line of original. Mic ~ Ririe, ID USA
Did you find this helpful?

Rate this movie

Tell us what you think.