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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,887 ( 424)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Inside all of us is... hope. Inside all of us is... fear. Inside all of us is... adventure. Inside all of us is a wild thing. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

More Rice  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To make the set a more comfortable environment for Max Records, Spike Jonze encouraged the crew members to bring their children to the set. Some of them can be seen in the film's classroom scene. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of Where the Wild Things Are (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Rumpus
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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Review For "Where The Wild Things Are"
13 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Running Time: An hour and a half MPAA Rating: PG Max is angry. He is imaginative and rambunctious, but he has no control. He knows that, like the sun, one day his energy will run out and he'll fade away. These are difficult thoughts for a young boy who already has the dilemmas of his age to deal with. Many people learn to cope with life's troubles in their own way, and Max does so by becoming a wild thing.

The movie adds some unique elements to the original Maurice Sendak storybook. Max's behavior is given a cause and his trip into the land of the wild things is given a purpose. Each of the creatures has a unique personality derived from Max's experiences with people in his homeland. Carol (played by James Gandolfini), whose anarchic and misunderstood nature Max immediately identifies with, specifically seems to provide the boy a means for coming to terms with the father now missing from his life.

What really brings this film to life is the music. Written by Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the songs provide a youthful vigor that complements the action on screen. It was built from scratch for the movie and great use within each context shows. Energetic tracks filled with wild instrumentation and playground yells lend credence to the playful scenes in the movie, and Karen O's soft vocals fit in perfectly with the sentimental points.

Book purists won't be pleased to learn the extent of added material, of course, but may find comfort in the heavy involvement of the original author in the making of this film. Spike Jonze was specifically given the permission of the author, who had previously seen and highly regarded his work. Although this film does take much of the mystery and imagination out of the hands of the viewer, Sendak has given his personal approval of the interpretation after viewing the final product.

In the end, this movie wasn't quite what it could have been. It loses some of its steam toward the middle, when certain scenes feel as though they've been drawn out as long as possible to give the movie a bump to above the acceptable hour and a half mark. There are more shaky-cam running scenes in the film than an episode of "24", which could have easily become redundant and intolerable had it not been for the expressive and enthralling soundtrack. Fortunately, the movie manages to work as presented, and members of the audience may be inspired to search out the wild things within themselves once more.

The easily queasy should be warned; much of this movie is shot by hand-held camera, leading to what has become known as the "shaky-cam" effect. This can work out of some viewers' favor, but shouldn't provide a problem for the majority of audience members.


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