All parent member reviews for Where the Wild Things Are

Parents say

(out of 182 reviews)
age 8+
Review this title!
Educator and Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written bykfogarty March 30, 2010

Pick a different flick.

I thought this was one of the worst films I've ever seen. It was dark, cryptic, disturbing -- and neither one of my children liked it at all. Almost all of the characters needed some sort of mental health therapy and we were left guessing what the director was trying to communicate. A very bizarre adaption....
Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byrickylynne76 March 16, 2010

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 9 year old Written byBill12345 March 15, 2010

Don't waste your money on the DVD

I hated this movie. It is not for kids. It was like Woody Allen without being funny. Characters were neurotic, dark and sulking, and self-absorbed, like real people. This was a pitiful adaptation of a wonderful kids book. Don't take your kids; they will be bored. .
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bycheer chick March 13, 2010
absolutely did not like any aspect of this movie. from bad role models, to kids speaking so poorly of and to their parents, to no real story line or reconciliation of the bad behavior. oh and it was the most boring kids show i have ever been to. and i love kids shows!! both my kids are totally entranced in movies and neither my 7 or 9 year old liked it. they actually asked to leave out of boredom at one point!!!
Adult Written byTom and Shar March 12, 2010

We turned it off after 20 minutes. Skip it!

I only wasted $1 renting this so I'm not too broken-hearted about turning it off after about 20 minutes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written byrustfam March 2, 2010

not for young kids who like the book

thought the movie was much more disturbing than scary... the fighting was bad enough, but the loneliness theme didn't really seem to be resolved... think that would be tough to handle for younger kids.
Parent of a 8 and 14 year old Written byJoshua524 February 3, 2010

I wouldn't recommend you even rent it, it's a waste of two hours.

My 8 and 13 did not like this movie at all. We all found it completely lame and bizarre.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 17 year old Written bymeatloaf November 13, 2009
For all the artistry of the costumes, the acting and overall excellence of the camera and scenic work, the violence inherent in Where the Wild Things Are is overwhelming, disquieting and off putting. The Director missed the mark of translating a subtle, wonderfully imaginative book into a film. Instead it belongs in the Horror Section of the local video store. In my opinion, Jonze betrayed the spirit of the book. When reading the original text, even with the accompanying pictures, our minds are invited to fill in the open spaces. We can imagine and sustain our own idea of how scary Max's situation is, quite a lot or just a little, depending on our life experience of violence, anger, pain or neglect. But in this film, the director has ir-responsibly presented a level of violence way beyond what most adults or children can or want to imagine. The book, Where The Wild Things Are has been serving the needs of children and adults/parents for decades. Using anger, frustration, kid vs adult worlds and all the associated psychological trappings, it explores and maps out valuable territory for how to be a human being. The malleability of the original story to suit the readers needs is what makes it popular. The crisis Max goes through and his resolution of it is deliberately vague, slightly unearthly and imaginative. We go with Max willingly because we are in control of how scary the adventure will ultimately be. In the film, the overall scary factor has been heightened so much it overwhelms the characters, confusing what they represent. Max and the Monsters have terrifying interactions that nail viewers to their seats with countless dark, frightening images. The dialog wanders over the emotive landscape but never lands, and strange unexplained connections lead us to nowhere. All of it together makes an uneasy, unresolved story. Jonze either didn't understand or ignored the subtlety of the books nature. Instead he pounds us with ‘his' idea of what scary is and leaves literally nothing to our imaginations. With this film, we are not in control, Jonze is and his imagination is horrifying. I wouldn't want to be with him on a cold, dark, windy night.. The saddest aspect of the release of the film is that parents will think it's intended to be seen by children, associating it's title with the book That is a fatal error. This is not a childrens film, nor an adult film really. There's no room to breath, imagine and have any fun. It's Jones' private nightmare and I wish I'd not paid to see it!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byjmch November 7, 2009
I thought this movie was depressing!! All the characters were sad, depressed and always arguing. I didn't expect to be telling my kids on the way home that it's not ok to destroy things or punch hole in the walls when your angry.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byMomMower November 6, 2009

Weird - Bad role model in Max - save your $$$ - NOT the story in the book.

This movie has disobedient Max doing things that my children don't do, so right away, the main character is modeling bad behavior rather than being a positive role model for impressionable kids at this age. Throwing things, trashing his sister's room, disrespecting and disobeying his mother, biting her, being defiant in general, then running away, all are not something that I want my kids to do. It did provide some good talking points after the movie, such as how angry Carol was, and how mean Julia was. Then again, Max had a sweet side, and his stressed-out mother did spend some quality time with him, which was nice. I felt really sorry for his life! Where was his dad? I was disappointed in the darkness of the movie, and it seemed to drag on. My son wanted to leave because he said it was "boring". I would not see it again, it does not seem to be for kids. Max's personality disorders and Carol's mental health issues clearly are not "normal" and kids this age can't comprehend, nor should they be exposed to such strange behavior.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byalgernon November 1, 2009
This is a dark downer movie that robs the silly joy of children. It is an adult movie for those seeking an affirmation of their freudian nihilism. Don't expect to see any of the joy of the book, no pastel colors or imaginative forests. It departs so radically from the book that it can only be explained as the director trying to project their own unhappy psychology on children everywhere.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educator and Parent of a 8 year old Written byConvent and Stu... October 25, 2009

Very Poor Messages, unfortunate given the lovely book that inspired the movie.

Standing on the kitchen counter screaming at mom? Resolving disputes via a dirt clod fight that turns ugly (predictable). Lacks positive conflict resolution modeling. Lacks appropriate anger management message. Dark, certainly NOT for children.
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written bylasater4 October 24, 2009

Not good for our children......

This movie was like watching a tv special about a disturbed child. It was sad and left us feeling depressed, you shouldn't feel that way after seeing a childrens movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8, 13, and 15 year old Written byMimi9496 October 22, 2009

Big disappointment.. sad

My 13 year old daughter saw it. She was saddened and disturbed by this movie, especially the part where the monster rips the arm off of the bird. It has obviously bothered her greatly, as recently we saw the trailer for it on tv, and she again commented how she hated the movie, it was horrible and sad. I wish she never saw it. The trailers they put on tv and in theatres do not show what the movie is really all about.
Parent of a 10 year old Written byaolson October 22, 2009

Pointless and boring

My 8 and 10 yr. olds were bored, as was I. It's not funny or adventurous or mysterious. It is pointless, dark, and long.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bycb123 October 22, 2009

Stay home

I hated it! Thought it was depressing and had absolutely no plot. The theme was bout harboring unforgivness and resentment without conflict resolution. DONT waste your TIME or money.
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bylauried October 21, 2009
This movie is for adults/teens that enjoyed the book...not children. Violent scenes and adult themes make the movie difficult for younger children to follow.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 6 year old Written byburndog79 October 21, 2009

Completely lame- and yes I got it. Even from a deeper level, very, very lame and negative.

Terribly negative. Bad ju ju and depressing thoughts and behaviors all through the movie. If you want your kids to think that destroying things and running away are a way to get chocolate cake for dinner, then take them to this movie.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byTwin Mom October 20, 2009

Good for Psychologists Only - not for kids of any age!

This was supposed to uplifting movie of finding true friendship in any form. Instead it was a bunch or lonely, depressed beings with nothing good to say, nothing to smile about and no positive messages for children whatsoever. I was so disappointed. This movie is maybe only for phychologists wanting a metaphore for the inner thoughts of a child disturbed by divorce, This was not an entertaining movie, but a movie to be analyzed in Psych101 - at most. Dreadful! And disappointing! Afterwards I kept saying to my children - thank goodness we're not as grumpy and sad as those people/monsters! Yuck! What message is this sending?
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bydedkad October 19, 2009
I hated this movie. I thought it was incredibly boring and not suited for children at all. After suffering through all the violent scenes, at least I was hoping for some payoff as far as a moral to the story, so my kids could at least understand that there are consequences to their negative actions. There was no moral. The movie ended abruptly, and I imagine the bratty Max and the awful monsters are continuing to mistreat everyone who comes into their path.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing