I see that a lot of parents here are complaining about the movies violence and dark themes. What you need to know is that this movie is not for kids under nine, or anyone with a weak stomach. The movie is for adults, particularly those with troubled or depressed children, and the movie shows a very detailed, accurate, and intense view of the hardships these children face. The main character, Max, is a chronically depressed boy, who does not only unleash his anger very brutally, destroying other people's possesions, hurting himself, etc. The viewer can infer that these things have been going on for awhile. He also keeps grudges. In fact, the movies opening scene is of an angry Max chasing after and hurting a small dog in his rage. The scene is very intense, but also relatively brief. After that, it shows him building an igloo in the snow. You can also tell at this scene that his father was divorced with his mother,and Max misses him. We will examine this more later. Anyway, he sees his teenage sister and some of her friends, and challenges them to a snowball fight. But things get rough, and not only is Max hurt, his igloo is destroyed. Later, he goes into her room and, in a display of anger, trashes and destroys many of her valuable possesions, including a card he made for her for Valentines day. When his mother comes home from work he tells her what happened. He gets her attention by doing an odd sort of dance act, similar to the actions of many depressed children. He also tells her a story he made up, about a vampire and some building. This is obviously related to the snow scene, as you will be able to tell. At one time, it shows his room where there are many traces of his depression.(Two headed lego people, books and clothes strewn everywhere, etc.) He comes down for dinner, in his wolf costume, and is shocked to see his mother and a man, probably her boyfriend, kissing and drinking wine. Fearing that the man will replace his father, he gets angry, hurts his mother, and runs away from home. We now transition into Max's mind and imagination he finds a boat, and sails on to an island. On the island, he meets a very wild, destructive, and intense group of monsters called The Wild Things. They threaten to eat him, but he claims to be a great ruler from a distant land, and they grant him their king. As the movie progresses, the overall feel becomes very shaggy and sad. Max tries to make the place a sort of perfect realm, where nothing bad ever happens, but things soon go awry. One of the Wild Things, K.W., introduces him to two of her friends, who are owls. Notice how the Wild Things personalities are all parts of Max, with Judith being depressed, K.W. being selfless and inclusive, and Max's friend Carol, being very much like him. However,
Carol becomes jealous of the owls, and becomes very angry, much like Max, and in one intense sequence, rips Douglas's arm off.(No blood is shown.) Fortunately, K.W. helps him escape. Soon, Max begins to miss his mother, and eventually sails off to his home. Carol realizes the error of his ways, and sobs as Max leaves. We exit Max's mind and return to the real world.Max returns home, and he seems to have been gone several hours. His mother welcomes him gladly home, and while she has been generally oblivious to his problem earlier, she seems to recognize it now. It can be infered that after the movie, Max gets professional help. With all this in mind, you must realize that this movie is very unlike the book, is very dark and intense, and is most certainly not for the same audience as the one for the book.