Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Amazing visuals, smart script

Some slow points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Where the Wild Things Are

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  October 16, 2009

MPAA Rating:  PG


Feed me Woman!

Max (Max Records) is struggling with growing up. His sister Claire (Pepita Emmerichs) only wants to spend time with her friends and his mother Connie (Catherine Keener) has a new boyfriend Adrian (Mark Ruffalo). When Max gets in a fight with his mother, he runs off and finds himself in a land of imagination among giant beasts. As Max appoints himself king of the beasts, he finds being a king isn’t as easy as it he thought. Let the wild rumpus begin!

Directed by Spike Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are is based on the classic 1963 children’s story by Maurice Sendak which had previously been released as an animated short and opera. The movie was released with a tie-in video game for Xbox 360 and PS3.  The movie received accolades for its style and has built a rather steady fan base since its release.


Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

I, along with others, was pretty skeptical when they announced a full length Where the Wild Things Are movie was being made. The story is only pages long and mostly without dialogue. To base a whole movie around the story seemed extreme. I was a bit more satisfied when was attached to direct and even more pleased when they released one of the best trailers ever for the film (check it out on YouTube if you’ve never seen it).

The movie does look amazing. The Wild Things look just like they do in the book which is quite amazing since they were so distinctive with Sendak’s art. The contrast of the hulking beasts in some of the most amazing locations helps make them jump out even more. In addition, Max Records does a great job holding his own as the young star of this movie with help from a strong supporting cast human (Catherine Keener and Mark Ruffalo) and voice actors (James Gandolfini, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Dano, Michael Berry Jr. and Spike Jonze).


Don’t go. I’ll eat you up; I love you so.

The Wild Things all represent different aspects of Max’s personality and life. Through him you can see his fears and doubts about getting older and the changing world. The first fifteen minutes of the film to me are so good at capturing what it means to be a child…the idea you can go from happy (with the snowball fight) to scared (when buried), to embarrassed (being scared in front of others), to angry (destroying his sister’s stuff), and to regretful…all in a matter of moments when it often takes adults so long for these big mood swings to occur.

The events of the first few scenes are reflected among the Wild Things, but it is hard for me for it to live up to the emotion built up in these scenes.  The movie drags a bit in that aspect, but it still is a good film, and does an amazing job making such a short story relevant. Where the Wild Things Are is a great movie about growing up and what it means to be young.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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