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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

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2:33 | Trailer
Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writers:

Spike Jonze (screenplay), Dave Eggers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,947 ( 26)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Records ... Max
Pepita Emmerichs Pepita Emmerichs ... Claire
Max Pfeifer Max Pfeifer ... Claire's Friend
Madeleine Greaves Madeleine Greaves ... Claire's Friend
Joshua Jay ... Claire's Friend
Ryan Corr ... Claire's Friend
Catherine Keener ... Mom
Steve Mouzakis ... Teacher
Mark Ruffalo ... The Boyfriend
James Gandolfini ... Carol (voice)
Vincent Crowley ... Carol Suit Performer
Paul Dano ... Alexander (voice)
Sonny Gerasimowicz ... Alexander Suit Performer
Catherine O'Hara ... Judith (voice)
Nick Farnell ... Judith Suit Performer
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Storyline

A young boy named Max has an active imagination, and he will throw fits if others don't go along with what he wants. Max - following an incident with Claire (his sister) and her friends, and following a tantrum which he throws as a result of his Mother paying more attention to her boyfriend than to him - runs away from home. Wearing his wolf costume at the time, Max not only runs away physically, but runs toward a world in his imagination. This world, an ocean away, is inhabited by large wild beasts, including one named Carol who is much like Max himself in temperament. Instead of eating Max like they normally would with creatures of his type, the wild things befriend Max after he proclaims himself a king who can magically solve all their problems. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I could eat you up, I love you so. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Wild Things Are: The IMAX Experience See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,695,407, 18 October 2009

Gross USA:

$77,233,467

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,086,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In July 2006, less than six weeks before the start of shooting, the Henson-built monster suits arrived at the Melbourne soundstage where Spike Jonze and his crew had set up their offices. The actors climbed inside and began moving around. Right away, Jonze could see that the heads were absurdly heavy. Only one of the cast members appeared to be able to walk in a straight line. A few of them called out from within their costumes that they felt like they were going to tip over. Jonze and the production crew had no choice, but to tell the Henson people to tear apart the fifty-pound heads, and remove the remote-controlled mechanical eyeballs. This meant that all the facial expressions would have to be generated in post-production, using computers. See more »

Goofs

When Max says, "Wow!" when he sees Carol's world built from sticks, an earpiece is visible in Max Records' ear. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Max: Hey, Claire. Wanna see something great?
Claire: [on the phone] Who else was there?
Max: It's an igloo! I made it.
Claire: Yeah, my brother.
Max: Hey, Claire!
Claire: I can't. We're supposed to go to my dad's that weekend.
Max: The snowplows left some snow across the street, and I dug a hole into it.
Claire: Go and play with your friends.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The logos for Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Village Roadshow Pictures are covered with Max's scribblings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Onion News Network: Fifth Anniversary (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Heads Up
Written by Karen O, Imaad Wasif, Dean Fertita, Bradford Cox, Jack Lawrence, and Tom Biller
Produced by Karen O and Tom Biller (as tbiller)
Performed by Karen O and the Kids
Courtesy of DGC/Interscope Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Review For "Where The Wild Things Are"
13 October 2009 | by Ross667-1See all my reviews

Running Time: An hour and a half MPAA Rating: PG Max is angry. He is imaginative and rambunctious, but he has no control. He knows that, like the sun, one day his energy will run out and he'll fade away. These are difficult thoughts for a young boy who already has the dilemmas of his age to deal with. Many people learn to cope with life's troubles in their own way, and Max does so by becoming a wild thing.

The movie adds some unique elements to the original Maurice Sendak storybook. Max's behavior is given a cause and his trip into the land of the wild things is given a purpose. Each of the creatures has a unique personality derived from Max's experiences with people in his homeland. Carol (played by James Gandolfini), whose anarchic and misunderstood nature Max immediately identifies with, specifically seems to provide the boy a means for coming to terms with the father now missing from his life.

What really brings this film to life is the music. Written by Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the songs provide a youthful vigor that complements the action on screen. It was built from scratch for the movie and great use within each context shows. Energetic tracks filled with wild instrumentation and playground yells lend credence to the playful scenes in the movie, and Karen O's soft vocals fit in perfectly with the sentimental points.

Book purists won't be pleased to learn the extent of added material, of course, but may find comfort in the heavy involvement of the original author in the making of this film. Spike Jonze was specifically given the permission of the author, who had previously seen and highly regarded his work. Although this film does take much of the mystery and imagination out of the hands of the viewer, Sendak has given his personal approval of the interpretation after viewing the final product.

In the end, this movie wasn't quite what it could have been. It loses some of its steam toward the middle, when certain scenes feel as though they've been drawn out as long as possible to give the movie a bump to above the acceptable hour and a half mark. There are more shaky-cam running scenes in the film than an episode of "24", which could have easily become redundant and intolerable had it not been for the expressive and enthralling soundtrack. Fortunately, the movie manages to work as presented, and members of the audience may be inspired to search out the wild things within themselves once more.

The easily queasy should be warned; much of this movie is shot by hand-held camera, leading to what has become known as the "shaky-cam" effect. This can work out of some viewers' favor, but shouldn't provide a problem for the majority of audience members.


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