6.8/10
95,566
399 user 340 critic

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writers:

Spike Jonze (screenplay), Dave Eggers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,584 ( 177)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Records ... Max
Pepita Emmerichs Pepita Emmerichs ... Claire
Max Pfeifer Max Pfeifer ... Claire's Friend
Madeleine Greaves Madeleine Greaves ... Claire's Friend
Joshua Jay Joshua Jay ... Claire's Friend
Ryan Corr ... Claire's Friend
Catherine Keener ... Mom
Steve Mouzakis ... Teacher
Mark Ruffalo ... The Boyfriend
James Gandolfini ... Carol (voice)
Vincent Crowley ... Carol Suit Performer
Paul Dano ... Alexander (voice)
Sonny Gerasimowicz ... Alexander Suit Performer
Catherine O'Hara ... Judith (voice)
Nick Farnell ... Judith Suit Performer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

There's one in all of us. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Wild Things Are: The IMAX Experience See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,695,407, 18 October 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$77,233,467

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,086,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michelle Williams was, at one point, cast to voice K.W., but the role went to Lauren Ambrose. The reason given by the filmmakers for this, was that Williams' voice didn't match what they were going for. Chloë Sevigny was another consideration for the same role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: Winnie the Pooh (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Food Is Still Hot
(uncredited)
Written by Karen O
Performed by Karen O and the Kids
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant film if sadness and hopelessness was its intent.
21 October 2009 | by wendyperrottiSee all my reviews

Last night we went to see Spike Jonez's film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I can't say that the film was bad. Considering that everyone in our party, who ranged in age from 7 to 42, had an incredibly strong reaction to it, I have to admit that it probably is quite good. It doesn't mean however, that any of us liked it. None of us did.

As a child, I found the book a little creepy and maybe even sad, but the last images, those of Max returning to his own room on the very night that he had left it and finding his supper, left for him still warm, redeemed some of the angst of the book. Those last few lines left this little reader feeling relieved and hopeful that tomorrow would be a better day for young Max. The film offered no such relief from the considerable gloom and sadness it inflicted.

In fact, Jonez's adaptation was overwhelmingly sad from beginning to end. Worse, there was a weighty hopelessness to it all. Jonez's characters, whether human or monster were so wholly deficient that they appear forever locked in a cycle of longing for love, understanding and acceptance without any apparent means to make it happen. Not one of them presented the strength in character to make those slight alterations of growth and understanding that would break the barrier and connect with the very creature standing next to him, who although desirous of the exact same thing, is somehow rendered unreachable.

The effect was so powerful that even the chatty, joyful eight year old girl in our group left the theater legitimately depressed, an emotion that is completely new to her. If the director's intention was to leave his audience with this level of hopelessness, then the film is brilliant. I myself will not be purchasing the DVD.


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