All parent member reviews for Where the Wild Things Are

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parents say

(out of 182 reviews)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byFamilyMan13 October 17, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Excellent film! But talk with your kids first!

Having seen the trailers enough times, both of our boys (4 & 8) were excited to see this film. Still, we had several conversations with them before going about what the film was going to be like. It was not going to be a "Toy Story" or an "Up". It was not going to be all laughter and adventure. It was certainly not going to be light stuff. We discussed how the film was going to be different from the book, how Max had trouble making good choices and why and how the tone of the film, although the Wild Things themselves might be cool to watch in action, would probably be a lot darker and more serious than films we usually see as a family. We gave our boys the chance to opt out, but they both still wanted to go. Knowing our children and trusting their ability to handle the material intellectually and emotionally, we went and all wound up enjoying the film immensely. It is a deep, rich, complicated film and, chances are, a lot of families out there are going to be very disappointed. The film's tone is, indeed, much darker than typical family features and there is a fair amount of violence and menace (Wild Things threaten to eat Max when they meet him, dirt clod war gets out of hand, one Wild Thing throws major tantrum near end, ripping another Wild Thing's arm off (oddly, only sand comes out of body and creature appears unharmed) and chases Max through woods in a very threatening way), so be prepared for all of that. The film gave us a lot to talk about afterward and both of our boys offered several opinions about Max's feelings and behaviors as well as that of the Wild Things. Our older son was also able to recognize that the Wild Things themselves were extensions of Max's own personality, warts and all, and we discussed which traits, fears, etc. certain WIld Things represented. Although our 4-year-old had no problem with anything in the film, I hesistate to recommend it for all 4-year-olds and therefore rate this film "on" for 6 and up. You know what your kids can handle. Read some other reviews from both parents and critics. Make an informed choice and prepare your kids first. But if you're looking for fun and adventure, wait until Astro Boy opens next week. If you're looking for a deep, psychological, thought-provoking, visually astonishing film that can spark debate, discussion and reflection, this is the one.
Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byDoppelganger October 17, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Awful. Just awful.

My son got bored part way through the movie and stopped paying attention. Max was indeed out of control, in fact he seemed lonely and emotionally disturbed. The wild things were more of the same. I think all kids movies should have a Happy Ever After ending, which this one lacked. Yes, Max went home, but we never saw him make nice with his sister or make any friends of his own. This was a sad, disturbing, and (luckily) boring movie.
Parent of an infant and 10 year old Written byErinO116 October 17, 2009
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
I think with an opened mind children will understand the movies complex message, we need to give our children a little more credit. It is a movie that children and their parents can see, talk about, and possibly READ together. I think it bridges the generation gaps.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 5, 6, and 12 year old Written byWolverine58 April 22, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Not for my little ones

The tantrum that the boy throws in the early part of the movie and all that went along with it was enough. The screaming and shouting back and forth between the mother and son was unnecessary. When the boy bites his Mom on the shoulder that was it, too violent for our 5 and 6yr. olds. A couple of the monsters we not as cuddly has they could have been.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 4 year old Written byMoondee March 30, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Maybe rent it, but definitely do not buy it.

The movie dragged on. The positive message that the movie had was strongly overshadowed by bad role model issues.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 16 year old Written byahcim3 October 29, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good for tweens and up, but as a little friend (7) said:"mommy this movie is not for me"

i just watched the movie and i loved it!! the movie makers might of cut out all except 5 minutes of the last part but other than that i thought it was the best they could do for a movie. the book was 100 times above and beyond the movie but, the movie was still good, a bit dark some times but still good
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bybxanalyst October 26, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

More violent than expected...

It needs to be mentioned that Max bites his mom and then runs away from home.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byCyndim October 23, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
This movie was awful! It was not only slow moving, but my kids left saying what was the meaning? And the mother sitting next to me said on the way out "I don't know what exactly that was about". There were some correlations made on an adult level - but certainly not by a child!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 14 year old Written byAmmo October 23, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Good but no great

I was really looking forward to this movie. Went to see it with my 14-year old daughter. We both had mediocre reviews. Her comments were "too long". I was put off by the filming....the new style of filming that follows the characters as they run, jump, creep...etc.....I find a little of that action OK, but there was way too much for my taste so this is mostly what put me off and only gave it a B. Overall, visually rich and worth seeing by somewhat long.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 8, 13, and 15 year old Written byMimi9496 October 22, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

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 6 year old Written byTwin Mom October 20, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

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
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byRenee003 October 19, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Awful

Awful. Depressing, violent, sad, and hateful.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 4, 6, and 9 year old Written byemjoyce October 19, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Dark and Depressing

My children and I enjoy this book by Maurice Sendak so much we were thrilled at the idea of seeing the movie. I was so disappointed at the dark, depressing emotions I felt while watching it. I apologized to my children for taking them. When we read the book at home, we make it fun! There are a couple pages that have no text while Max and the "Wild Things" are having their "rumpus" and we get up, make funny noises, and dance aroung the room. The previews are not at all accurate to the mood of this film. In my opinion, there are enough issues in real life to make us feel blue. When I go to a movie with my children I want to see smiles on their faces and hear them giggle.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8 and 14 year old Written bymimsmithfaro October 16, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
I loved it. My 14 year old did too. My 8 year old was sad though. He is very sensitive and was very sad to see Max leave the Wild Things. I was very surprised to see several much younger children- 4 and 5. I didn't think it was appropriate for that age. It was too complex, too scary, and too long for them. I also think you should be prepared to discuss the choices Max made and the repercussions of our actions.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byChatanoogaChooChoo September 6, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Not a good movie, not a good childrens movie.

I don't like this movie from either a artistic standpoint, nor for the sake of a child. First of all artistically the movie goes nowhere, and very slowly. The high points are violence, anger, and smashing things, and the low points are absolute silence (the boring kind). Really, nothing happens in this movie. If it weren't for the giant hairy monsters and the total lack of adults in the wild thing land, children would not be kept amused whatsoever. This was a great book, but a horrible movie. Max, the assumed protagonist, is absolutely childish and spoiled. He's got a very overactive imagination, which gets him into trouble. He bites his mom! (idk about you but I can certainly imagine children across the world laughing at that, scary right?) The way this kid acts I really wouldn't be surprised if he grew up with emotional issues. His best friend is also childish, jealous, paranoid, and takes things for granted. Not a very good role model. All of the wild things have a very "devil may-care" attitude, they act almost like half zombie in their speech and roles in the movies. They are all very quick to anger. There is a theme of distruction, and the emotional themes of this movie are totally and completely missed by children, There isn't a way they can comprehend. Considering that the original book is very old, I'm assuming that the target audience is adults, who grew up with the book, and not children who are reading it now.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byParentReviewer18 August 20, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

My Kids have it on their ipods!

I Took my kids to the theater to see this movie and my kids were talking about it for weeks! My only concern was violence because at some parts of the movie my 4 & 6 year olds were covering their eyes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 year old Written byohya August 14, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
not rated G,you know.PG for mild scary scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3 and 9 year old Written byTassé July 2, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
I saw it, it s boring. I was deceived. I even returned the movie where I bought it. A little boy that has hanger, run away from home and arrive to an isle where monsters fights between them and have same complexe as him...made me think...the teletubies. The psyco... behing it is.. the boy will understand he s hanger and will finally go back home. There is too much hard fighthing beetween monsters. Also the bad message is that yes child run away from home you might meet monters on an island!!!
Parent of a 9 year old Written byMatthewsStepMom May 14, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
This is NOT a kid's movie. Our 9 year old requested we turn it off early in the movie when the character, Max, throws a major tantrum and bites his mother. Our son had enough at that point. We finished watching it after he went to bed and we were sorely disappointed - it was way too dark and loaded with negative emotions.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byevil slayer April 17, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

I wouldn't reccomend it.

This movie was dissapointing. It overburdens children with global warming, the sun burning out as well as other issues. The movie is long and drawn out and is nothing like the book. I was upset that the boy never apologized to his mother for his "child rages" that included biting his mom and destroying his sister's room. The movie insinuates the boy's issues are really not his fault but his overworked mother's.

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