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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family  |  16 October 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 84,535 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 383 user | 330 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pepita Emmerichs ...
Max Pfeifer ...
Claire's Friend
Madeleine Greaves ...
Claire's Friend
Joshua Jay ...
Claire's Friend
Claire's Friend
Carol (voice)
Vincent Crowley ...
Alexander (voice)
Sonny Gerasimowicz ...
Judith (voice)


A young boy named Max has an active imagination, and he will throw fits if others don't go along with what he wants. Max - following an incident with Claire (his sister) and her friends, and following a tantrum which he throws as a result of his Mother paying more attention to her boyfriend than to him - runs away from home. Wearing his wolf costume at the time, Max not only runs away physically, but runs toward a world in his imagination. This world, an ocean away, is inhabited by large wild beasts, including one named Carol who is much like Max himself in temperament. Instead of eating Max like they normally would with creatures of his type, the wild things befriend Max after he proclaims himself a king who can magically solve all their problems. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Let the wild rumpus start! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

More Rice  »

Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,695,407 (USA) (16 October 2009)


$77,222,184 (USA) (5 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Concepts for the film dated all the way back to the 70s when several animators took a whack at it, but failed to stir up any interest. See more »


During the "Rumpus", when Carol jumps straight up into a tree trunk, he falls back on his front. However, when the camera cuts to Max, then back to Carol, he is now on his back. See more »


[first lines]
Max: Hey, Claire. Wanna see something great?
Claire: [on the phone] Who else was there?
Max: It's an igloo! I made it.
Claire: Yeah, my brother.
Max: Hey, Claire!
Claire: I can't. We're supposed to go to my dad's that weekend.
Max: The snowplows left some snow across the street, and I dug a hole into it.
Claire: Go and play with your friends.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The logos for Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Village Roadshow Pictures are covered with Max's scribblings. See more »


Building All Is Love
Written by Karen O, Nick Zinner, and Tristan Bechet
Produced by Karen O and Tom Biller (as tbiller)
Performed by Karen O and the Kids
Courtesy of DGC/Interscope Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

These Things aren't Wild, they're just slightly troubled
7 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Where the Wild Things are is a well written, intelligent, and very cold drama about the often challenging interactions within a closed group of people, the complexities of leadership and the cost of selfishness.

It's not a movie about imagination or childhood at all, and it's only vaguely concerned with themes of growing up, family or maturity.

It's not wacky or funny. Not colorful or exciting. There's only about 10 minutes of what I'd call "fun" in the whole 2-hour package.

That doesn't make Where the Wild Things Are a bad movie. It just makes it completely defiant of the viewer's expectations, and thus a rather confusing film to watch.

The first time I saw this I wasn't sure how I was supposed to be taking things. Was that supposed to be funny? Is she being sarcastic, or serious? Is Max in real danger now, or not? That's not because the movie is actually confusing, but because it all seems vaguely wrong and inappropriate. I left scratching my head saying "I guess that was good?"

In the end I decided I didn't like it. I felt that this was either the wrong script for this movie or the wrong movie for this script. Either way, it didn't click for me and felt awkward to the end.

Nevertheless there is quality here, and I recommend you watch it yourself and reach your own conclusion.

153 of 210 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Max - Autistic? Jarvio
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