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
Spike Jonze had his voice cast act out their characters on a soundstage, to ensure that the voices came from a performance of actors working together, instead of filming the movie and recording the voices later, or recording the actors individually. The actors wore radio microphones attached to their heads with headbands. Jonze and Catherine Keener would perform Max. Even before this soundstage shoot, Spike took the voice cast to Griffith Park to wage an actual dirt clod war. See more »
When Max says, "Wow!" when he sees Carol's world built from sticks, an earpiece is visible in Max Records' ear. See more »
Hey, Claire. Wanna see something great?
[on the phone]
Who else was there?
It's an igloo! I made it.
Yeah, my brother.
I can't. We're supposed to go to my dad's that weekend.
The snowplows left some snow across the street, and I dug a hole into it.
Go and play with your friends.
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The logos for Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Village Roadshow Pictures are covered with Max's scribblings. See more »
I attended an early screening with my 8 year old daughter; we're both big fans of Sendak in general and this book in particular, and I quite like Spike Jonze as well. But this did not prepare us for the moody, almost downbeat atmosphere through most of the film, nor the sense of immediacy and almost hyper-realism combined with astoundingly fanciful imagery. It is such an odd movie! And yet, when it was over, we turned to each other smiling a melancholy smile and said, "I loved it." The expansion of the tiny story into a feature-length film is so subtle that you barely sense it happening. There isn't an artificial new plot laid over the bones of the original -- it's simply expanded at every turn and very gently stretched out to feature length. The voice performances are wonderful, and the costumes are magnificent, as is the one major visual addition to the material (which I won't give away). Enjoy!
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