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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 83,845 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 383 user | 329 critic | 37 from

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 9 wins & 42 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


I could eat you up, I love you so. 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?


Sam Longley, the suit performer for Ira, is a Perth Western Australia actor famed for his comic and improvisational performance skills. He is also 6 foot 10 inches tall and brother of Luc Longley of Chicago Bulls fame. 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 »


Written by Karen O, Bradford Cox, and Imaad Wasif
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

Where the Wild Things Are - Extraordinary
18 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A beautiful, audacious, roughly-hewn motion picture (adjectives that are no doubt overused in describing the picture's modus operandi), Spike Jonze's adaptation Maurice Sendak's adored children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" taps into the innocent, volatile world of a 9 year old boy the way few mainstream feature films have. It is original, unique, melancholy, and because of this several mainstream critics (and even lucid critics like Salon's Stephanie Zacharek) have derided the film. "There's no story"; "kids won't like it"; "it's an adult film about children, not a children's film"; "it's boring"; "the pacing is slow"...

What? Why did it become such a crime to make an abstract art film within the spineless confines of the Hollywood system? Doesn't Spike Jonze get credit for personalizing, therefore, retaining a substantial amount of voracity while delving into one of the most revered children's books of the last fifty years? What the hell is wrong with that? I understand that some people just don't respond to the abstract, pseudo-verisimilitude of pretentious art films, but there's a stripped-down purity to this picture that cannot be denied. It's not pretentious, but emotional and honest.

It's bold, it takes chances...why is it being chastised in the media? How often do we get movies like "Where the Wild Things Are"? It should be celebrated, not snidely dismissed (Ex. Lou Lumenick, NY Post).

119 of 204 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Max - Autistic? Jarvio
Awful! harald-465-809097
Is this why some people don't like WTWTA? streakyfuzzer
Did anyone else hate the kid in the movie? dustin1280
Whose idea was this? drnossal
how long was he gone? sverre-1
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