All member reviews for Where the Wild Things Are

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Common Sense Media says

Sometimes-dark adaptation focuses on friendship, loneliness.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 289 reviews)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Teen, 13 years old Written bymngirl August 30, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Zero Stars- Don't Even LOOK At It!

Went to see it on my birthday. Worst. Movie. Ever. By far. It was pointless. The book was better. But, the worst movie by far! It was so bad that I wanted to throw up, bury myself in a hole and die. Can you PLEASE let me rate it zero stars. Believe me, I would! It's like a black hole! I wasted my life. Its so depressing and just plain horrible! Don't take kids to see it, don't even LOOK at it, don't rent, buy it, nothing!

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byCSMomBB October 23, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

I don't understand all the negative reaction to this movie. It is a good movie--even though it is not the typical shiny, happy movie for kids--we have enough of those. I've seen many comments on what a violent movie it was. There was only one iffy scene (the arm scene). I thought the interaction between the characters was wonderful. The movie didn't wrap everything up in a nice tidy package at the end either. It made you think. And, different people can have different ideas of what the movie meant to them. I enjoyed taking my kids to a movie that made them question and think about things afterwards. While I wouldn't say that my 9 & 12 year old kids loved it, they did say that they liked it and thought it was different. And, I think different is a good thing.

Parent of a 8 year old Written byYlonen Fam October 23, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

I took my 8 yr old step-son to this movie for his birthday. We had been reading about it and knew that it wasn't really a "kids" movie but we still wanted to see what it was about. I personally loved it, with a 8 yr old that has been through many issues with his mother and some anger problems this move was perfect! It showed him that he was not alone when he felt certain ways. I also loved the way that dialogue was meant for kids, it helped him to get into it more. I think this is a great movie.

What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byredsxfenway January 31, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Should remain unseen

**** Mild spoilers ahead****
This was one of my favorite books as a child and one of my least favorite movies as college student.
To those who know Jonze, it's not surprise the way the film ended up. It's angst-ridden and filled with light easy-listening indie pop music. I'm not one for nostalgia but this film utterly failed to capture the spirit of the book. It seems like Maurice Sendak, who was involved in the making of the film, forgot what he wrote more than 35 years ago.
The book had a story of adventure and freedom, while the film is overly-dramatic, filled with almost constant sadness. There's nothing wrong with a film departing from the book its based on, but this film is a poor one even in a vacuum. The constant sorrow in the film takes away from what could be a very touching scene of Max leaving the island. Because the characters are so sad throughout the film, there's no real change in emotion in the final scene.
Jonze puts the monsters in constant conflict with each other, back and forth between love and hate and it gets tiresome very quickly.
However it is incredibly beautiful and the animation/puppetry is stunning.
Children will likely be frightened by the violent interactions and probably turned off by the slow pace and dialogue that will likely be over their heads.

Teen, 15 years old Written bybpixie December 22, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

DISTURBING

I went and watched it with my four year old brother and dad, and I CRIED. It was an amazing movie, I have to say, but very, very violent and disturbing. I had nightmares. First of all, the opening scenes made me tear up a little bit. Max is making a snowfort and her sister and her friends (some boys) come over and the guys start tearing it apart, and they jump on top of him, causing him to cry and his lip to bleed. Then, they just leave. The mother swears at him later and is emotionally abusive to him, which was horrible. He then runs away and finds a little boat and goes through the ocean to get to a tiny island, where he finds the "Wild Things". In short form, they have fun together, but there are some extremely disturbing and scenes. They can also be very gruesome, such as when someone's arm is torn off, and also one of the characters goes on a rant and tears after Max, proclaiming he's going to eat him, so another character hides Max in her sticky, gooey, dark MOUTH. Ew. Horrible messages throughout the movie except at the end when Max comes home and the family bonds (sort of). All in all, it's a fantastic movie, very well put together, but NOT AT ALL like the popular's children's book. Not for anyone under ten, and even that's pushing it. Gruesome, disturbing, violent, but in the end ... amazing. :)

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byrickylynne76 March 16, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Now there's two hours I'll never get back...

In a child's book made into a full length movie, I expect plot events to be, you know, added. (Think, Polar Express, etc.) Here, it's just the events from the very short book, spread over time mixed with sleeping in a pile, throwing dirt, and many violent and petty arguments.

Some have said it's all metaphorical, that each wild thing represents parts of Max or his family. However, I don't believe we know enough about his family to make any informed connections. We only see them at the very beginning, centered mostly around truly disturbing behavior in Max. Honestly, he needs evaluation and probably medication. Max looks to be about age 10 or 11, and my 3-year-old would be in trouble for behaving as immaturely as he does.

So, if you are in a Child Psych 101 class, analyze it in your thesis paper, include which wild thing is who and why...knock yourself out. However, as a movie experience: dark, depressing, and so boring, even the mother character falls asleep at the end.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5, 5, and 8 year old Written bykhmichalak October 23, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Bleak & Depressing

We are usually a pretty laid back movie family -- not much gets to us. We just loaded up the boys and took them to see this movie. They've been so excited because Daddy reads this book to them all the time, just as his Dad did for him. We are so disappointed we are almost as angry and miserable as the characters. Dark, Depressing, Bleak,Angry, Miserable, Destructive, Lonely ... those are the words that come to mind when attempting to describe the message and tone of this film. How could Zemeckis do THAT to such a beloved children's story? I have always read that book as the story of one little boy's wildly active imagination, never as the monsters that are coming from the dark recesses of his troubled mind. We have spent the last hour discussing the reality that we do not find a single thing in that movie acceptable and the boys are asking why everybody in the movie is so mad and sad. Tickets for Family of 5 + Snack Packs for the Kids = $50 down the drain and a family deflated by the whole experience.

Adult Written byliosliath October 22, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

about children, not necessarily for children

Not sure why people are upset that they can't take their small children; wait for Astroboy, or see Chance of Meatballs still in theaters. It may be that the age appropriateness of the book needs re-evaluation. In the book and film the boy is threatening a dog with a fork after all.

Get a babysitter and go see this movie, or take your older child if you must. It is excellently directed, will have you laughing, and your heart palpitating. The rumpus is fun, but there is always an edge of peril.

The film deals with loneliness, and fear, and trying to cope with those things in a healthy way, rather than acting out (sometimes violently) and alienating the very people (or monsters) you love.

The photography is gorgeous, and the monsters are incredible replicas. I think Jonze does a fair reading of the book, and interprets it into film beautifully.

Kid, 10 years old Written bygamerkid660 December 6, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

boring, dark, and the worst movie ever

I really HATE this movie. Don't buy it, Don't rent it, Don't think about buying it, and worst of all, Don't even LOOK at it.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byMannaquinn October 22, 2009
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

OK for families who prepare their kids

I took my three boys, ages 3, 8, and 10 to see it. They all liked it and my husband and I were very happy with how the book had been turned into a movie. I had read an article interviewing Spike Jonze and Maurice Sendak, so I knew that it was a "real movie" with "real kids" discussing difficult emotions and not just a feel-good happy movie. I talked with my kids ahead of time and that helped prepare them.

Teen, 13 years old Written byjason913 October 18, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Not for kids, but still a great film!

This is not a kids film. I just want to get that misconception off your mind right now.
Anyway, this is a very good film for several reasons.
One, it doesn't treat you like a little kid and spoon feed you corporate approved morals.
All the characters have flaws and are not shown as role models. All the wild things are essentialy different facets of anyone's personality, making the film very transcendent.
Also, it doesn't beat you over the head with obnoxious slapstick like most of today's tripe. It leaves room for lots of--gasp!--dramatic moments!
So anyway, even though it isn't for kids under 10, anyone over 10 who knows that not every movie is happy times and gumdrops will be satisfied, at least.

Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byRTKristin October 24, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

A deep moving film that will definitely get your kids to think!

I loved this movie and used it as a teaching tool about expressing feelings. My children are in a single parent home and have displayed some of the same emotions that Max has. Kids can learn from this that anger isn't the way to solve feelings of sadness or lonliness. I love the slower pace and the fact that the film wasn't in your face with resolution. Life isn't like that. It has a much more subtle ending that shows unconditional love.

Teen, 13 years old Written bySelbe November 1, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Live Action Movie With 2-Dimensional Characters- Lovely!

Let me just start with a simple sentence- this movie is not for kindergarteners. Though the book is very child-friendly, the movie talks about some pretty depressing things. One of the characters, suspectedly Carol, I assume is bipolar. One moment he can be very kind and affectionate then he become very destructive.

Another thing to be mentioned is the eerie tone the movie sets from the beginning as the main character, Max, tackles his dog in not a very playful but aggressive way. Later on he is in his fort and his older sister's friends jump on top of his snow fort while he is inside, burying him in snow. Next, he is upset at his mother for ignoring him and instead spending time with her presumed 'boyfriend'. Afterwards when he comes down for dinner, his body language states obviously that he is upset with her. When he acts condescending toward her, she scolds him which ends in him biting her.

The family of wild things is definitely a parallel to his own family, though there are only three people in his family- mother, sister, and Max- and there are, I believe from counting at the end of the movie, seven. Each seemed to represent a different emotion or attitude and some of it was quite a bit depressing.

I recommend taking an older child, insightful at that, to this movie rather than one who prefers raw fight scenes and straight-forward messages. The characters are much, much deeper and you have to look and think to understand a lot of it.

This will probably be my favorite movie for a very long time. It was the first time I actually was forced to examine characters and create parallels. I recommend discussing this movie after seeing it with your child. Many of the messages are positive, and it would be a great opportunity to speak of human emotions and insecurities to your child.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byCuriousGerbil October 28, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

A little dark, but still very good.

The movie was a bit darker than I had expected but I thought overall it was a good adaptation of the book. Young children will definately be scared by this movie. Also, some children might easily miss the positive message in this movie and focus on some of the bad behavior. Parents should be prepared to talk to their children about the movie.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Parent of a 9 year old Written byJoeFuentes November 10, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Great re-imagination of a great Classic

I loved it. My Fiance Loved it! Tripp liked it OK.

He didn't remember the book too much so we revisited it after wards and He liked the characters - he was able to identify the roles each of the characters plays int he boys life and could relate to his own issues.

Some people are shying away because they think it's too scary, but if you only look at the trailer, you will not get the full breath of the story. Althought it can be a little tense at moments, It is not really a violent movie nor is it really scary.

A must watch for young and old

What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byBookMomToo April 16, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

BEST MOVIE of the decade!!!

My children all loved the book, and grew up listening to all of Maurice Sendak's books over and over upon request. I am not usually one to go to the movies, my forte is reading. My oldest son saw the movie, he is a sophmore in college, and told me I needed to see it. He confided that he cried. It has taken me months and months to getting around to finally seeing it, and I can't begin to say enough WONDERFUL things about it!!! What I don't understand is the gloom and doom reviews it was given with so much talk about how scary it was. Personally I think it was incredibly thought provoking and insightful in portraying childhood in all its glory. I would have no problem showing it to any child five and up as it was not Hollywood violent and the subject matter, language, and visuals are all appropriate.

What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byKryslawlor April 12, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Do not buy it, rent it or watch it

Despised it. It was awful- I usually pre-screen movies I think might be questionable for my kids. Unfortunately I didn't with this one. It was awful, depressing, brooding, disturbing, dark and weird. I would not recommend this movie for anyone, ever. I wish I could get it out of my head, and even more so my children's! Do not buy it, rent it or watch it. Seriously.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bySoftball mom February 23, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

This movie was just a nightmare. I regret having taken my kids to see it.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written byThe Tim K October 21, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Lazy and uninvolved parents leave your kids at home; the good parents take their kids

This movie is not for lazy parents. Uninvolved parents should leave their kids home. You are dead wrong if you think you can take your children to this movie without talking with them before, maybe during, and definitely after.
The messages around lonliness are very powerful. The messages are around family, love, caring about others...it's really about Emotional Intelligence.
And these messages are very complex, intimate, moving, and nuanced. The cinematography is intense and the directing is just odd enough to shake up the "normal" way that movies try to show personal connections.
There is real value in this movie. You can teach your children to develop their own values with this movie. Just do it actively. If you're lazy with your kids, then don't take them until they're 16.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written byFone Bone December 30, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Think before you see...

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.

What other families should know
Too much violence

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