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 293 reviews)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bybeebers November 23, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

FINALLY, A BOY'S MOVIE WITHOUT SUPERHEROS!!!

Loved, loved, LOVED this movie. My son (just turned 6) and I saw this together; we've been reading the book for the past 3 years. For the most part, it was clear to him why Max and other characters were angry or upset or sad, etc. We talked about it during and after the movie. He also initiated questions when it wasn't clear..."Mama, why is Max destroying his sister's stuff? Why is he mad at her?" The movie let me peek into a "boy's world" (building a fort, dirtball fights) and into the heart of a child dealing with the loss of a parent through divorce. It was refreshing to watch a live-action movie geared towards 7-9 year old boys without the scene-stealing superhero. I believe this was his first live-action movie and he was riveted from start to finish. I highly recommend it for 6+ and discussions about feelings and empathy at their level.
Parent of a 6 year old Written byalk89 November 21, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Not appopropriate for young children

My children have loved this book since they were tiny. The movie, did not impress and was not approptriate for a 6 year old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bylovettbeatle November 16, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Beautiful Movie, May Be Harder for Emotional Kids. They'll Love it, Though.

Parents need to know that this movie isn't a walk in the park. I was alternately laughing and crying in this incredibly visual movie. It is so beautiful and full of powerful emotion kids can relate to. I have never seen anything like it. Spike Jonze is amazing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 6 year old Written byScott C November 14, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Wait 'till it comes out on video and watch with parental guideance

My daughter really wanted to see it. We offered some expectations ahead of time, such as tense and angry scenes with violence (wild things fighting). This seemed to help. She didn't seem scared at all (keep in mind she's a 1st grader who reads at a 6th grade level). She felt sad when he left the Island. The characters were odd; they almost seemed demented. There problems sort of ran parallel to Max's home life, but that wouldn't be obvious to a child younger than 12 and it probably should have been. The costumes and effects were enjoyable. The movie didn't seem as 'dark' as others have said. The aggressive acts in the movies seemed awkward and contrived and I think my daughter actually noticed that aspect. The movie was also choppy or seemed poorly edited. Of course a kid's not going to notice this, but we did. More dialogue would have been nice to help things progress smoothly. The arm getting ripped off and bleeding white sand was also odd. The wild things were wild, but weird, as though they all had poor social skills. The bones of the former king that had been eaten were the most disturbing scene. The scene where Max started to dance to show he had special powers was also just weird, tense, and the transition to and from that scene was, as with other scenes seemed poorly done. The dirt clod fight was overboard here and there and probably should have been a game of hide 'n seek instead. It's frustrating to see so much spent on excellent special effects, costumes, actors, setting and set (the stick buildings are remarkable) and end up with a mediocre movie. I thought it would be necessary to see on the full screen - but no. Actually, I'd prefer to have seen it at home where I could control the volume during the ridiculous dirt clod fight and lessen the impact of the aggressive scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 17 year old Written bymeatloaf November 13, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 
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 4, 7, and 10 year old Written bykjhohman November 12, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
Unless you enjoy listening to whining, rude behavior, pouting, and meanness, this is not worth seeing. My 2 girls (10 and 4) and I all were tempted to leave in the middle. The Wild Things are so poorly behaved and NEGATIVE that it's just not any fun to watch. Not at all like the book. Skip it.
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
Parent of a 3, 6, and 7 year old Written byMistyLomas November 10, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

A little complex for younger kids, but an okay movie overall

My husband and I enjoyed it, even though it was not at all like the book. My 7 year old is now having nightmares about the part when the monsters were going to eat Max. On the same note, my 6 year old and 3 year old have not had any problems. It might be that my 7 year old "got" the movie more than the younger two, so it impacted him a little more. However, I thought It was a pretty good movie, even though nothing was really accomplished during the whole movie. There was no conclusion to any of the problems and he left his "imaginary land" in worse shape than it was before.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byEnns Family November 10, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 4 year old Written byldreyer November 9, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
read the review here after taking my 4 1/2 yr old. This was much too dark and complex for him. He says he liked the dirt fight the best. (sigh)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educator and Parent of a 15 year old Written byredjed November 8, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
It is a sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing movie that(for me at least) is pure fun.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2, 6, and 8 year old Written bysandybeach85 November 8, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Okay for an older child (8+ years). *Spoiler Alert*

My 8 year old daughter found the movie boring, although maybe a more introspective child may not. I definitely would not take my 7 year old to this movie because there is not enough for her to stay interested in the characters/story, much less to catch the deeper message. For older kids/adults, there are interesting interactions between characters, but overall the story lagged some for me. I honestly found myself struggling at times to listen to the dialogue to catch the parallels between the personalities in Max's home life and the "wild things" on the island. The costume design is great - I really loved the wild things and how much the movie stays true to the illustrations from the book, yet going beyond the book to develop texture, voice, and personality for each wild thing. The "fort" that they build is also something to see - quite unique. However, most of the movie is gloomy and overcast in shades of gray and brown which mimic the book. The beginning is just plain sad with the stage being set for why Max runs away from home to be with the wild things - he comes off as a very troubled child (much more than the book) who has no friends. His mother is divorced and struggling to balance work, love, and raising two kids. His father leaving is obviously a troubling event for Max. Most of the movie is spent with Max and the wild things talking and having a "wild rumpus". I think adults will find this part of the movie mostly sad and lonely, although in the end, when Max goes home, the message is sweet. The most intense/violent parts that I've heard concerns about happen in 4 areas - 1) when Max's teenage sister's male friends collapse his snow fort on top of him, burying him in snow, 2) when Max falls out of the boat as he approaches the rocky beach of the island in stormy waters and briefly goes under water, 3) when one wild thing's arm is torn off by another wild thing (which only results in sand pouring out of his body as he says "gee, that was my favorite arm"), and 4) when a wild thing "swallows" Max in order to hide him from another wild thing. My daughter said these parts didn't disturb her, although she came to sit on my lap when the arm came off. The movie does give adults an interesting look into a child's mind, and reminds you just how real and important events that may seem small to adults are to kids. Bottom line - I suggest you save your money and see it on DVD, UNLESS you really LOVE costume design and scenery.
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byjmch November 7, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
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
Teen, 15 years old Written byChickenOfTheWest November 6, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Think about it...

To tell you the truth, I have no clue what to say. The movie was very symbolic, and at parts, dark. Sometimes I enjoyed what was going on, and sometimes, I just sat there, wondering. To be honest, many of the adults that I consulted on it hated it. On the other hand, children, loved it. Maybe it depends on the viewer. Everyone has an opinion, and with this movie, people can make the decision for themselves.
Adult Written byElement13 November 6, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
When my girlfriend and I left the theater (feeling sorely disappointed though slightly less weighed down by those pesky dollars) I told her that I thought this movie must be the visual adaptation of a child regression psychotherapy session on acid for a severely dysfunctional child. I take it back...its just a dysfunctional kid on acid. There's nothing to get here, no key that unlocks all of the mysteries and intricacies of the plot or concepts involved. Its not even artistic, really...Sure it looks great, but there are much better written, directed, and acted movies that artistically portray the perspective that life is hard when you're a kid....as if we don't remember, and they don't know. Even if they "liked" the movie, the unexplained dysfunctional interactions between the characters would be confusing to any child, esp those from dysfunctional homes.... Please, don't waste your money...
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byMomMower November 6, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

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
Kid, 10 years old November 6, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

The Most Horrible Movie Ever!

I Dont like the movie. The movie was horrible. I like that book better because it gives alot more details. It also makes it more interesting. If i were you going to see the movie,Dont. It's horrible.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 15 and 16 year old Written byMina_Wolf November 6, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
My oldest saw it says the producers of the movies made them look evil and not good no one under 12 should see it at all!!unless you want your kids to have nightmares!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 6 year old Written byMitchellsmom November 3, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Don't take young children to see this classic CHILDRENS BOOK in movie form

This adaptation of Where the Wild Things are is not what my family expected. I wish we had read the reviews first. The intensity of Max's feelings of loneliness and exclusion from his sister made my child cry. It was hard for younger children to figure out the plot and symbolism of the Wild Things in relationship to Max's own family. Only for children ages 10 or up.
Adult Written byalgernon November 1, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
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

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