Where the Wild Things Are (2009) Poster

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 47,763 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Drama | Family | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 16 October 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 101 min
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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)


Where the Wild Things Are 2009tt0386117.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 47,763 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Drama | Family | Fantasy
  • Release Date: 16 October 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 101 min
  • Filming Location: Central City Studios, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Budget: $100,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $77,222,184(USA)(7 February 2010)
  • Director: Spike Jonze
  • Stars: Max Records, Catherine O'Hara and Forest Whitaker
  • Original Music By: Carter Burwell  Karen Orzolek  (as Karen O.) 
  • Soundtrack: Worried Shoes
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Igloo | King | Wolf Costume | Creature | Imagination

Writing Credits By:

  • Spike Jonze (screenplay) &
  • Dave Eggers (screenplay)
  • Maurice Sendak (book)

Known Trivia

  • Eric Goldberg was at one point attached to direct.
  • The open call for Max was huge. It took several months and thousands of boys auditioned from several countries worldwide.
  • Spike Jonze was approached by Maurice Sendak and was asked to take on the film adaptation. A movie had been on the burner since the early 90s, and Mr. Sendak had not been able to find anyone fitting to take it on.
  • The creatures are being portrayed by actors in 6-8 foot tall costumes, with some additional animatronics, and computer-generated faces. The costumes were created by The Jim Henson Company, who were responsible for the Muppets and the Labyrinth creatures.
  • Throughout the writing process, Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers kept in close contact with Maurice Sendak, consulting and sharing script changes, models of the monsters, etc.
  • It has been said that actors in the monster costumes would wear the head for no more than half an hour at a time, after which they would have 10-15 minute breaks in front of an air conditioner. Stunt performers would remain fully suited for hours at a time, without air conditioning.
  • Numerous cameras followed the actors around to impress their expressions and feelings. The images would then be digitally “infused” onto the faces of the puppets and would follow the actors’ performances.
  • Originally, the film had a May 2008 release, which was pushed back to October 2008, after that, it was pushed back to a 2009 release.
  • Filming began in 2005.
  • Early development of a film version was leaning towards a fully-animated film.

Goofs: Revealing mistakes: In the early scenes in which Max is outside playing in the snow, there are leaves on the trees and roses in bloom. You can't see his breath in the air and it doesn't fog the window. If you look closely in some shots, you can see a light fog in the air created by the cold manufactured snow on a warm day.

Plot: An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world–a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler. Full summary »  »

Story: 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  


Synopsis: Max (Max Records) is a young boy who feels misunderstood and wants to have fun all the time. He makes an igloo out of snow, but his sister’s friends gang up on him and smash it. After making a scene in front of his mother’s boyfriend, Max bites his mother and runs away. He keeps running until he stumbles upon a small boat; he climbs aboard and sets sail.

After a few days at sea, he reaches the dangerous, rocky shore of a strange island at night. He leaves the boat on shore and walks toward voices he hears in the woods. Max eavesdrops on a few creatures arguing. One of them, Carol (voice: James Gandolfini), is destroying the huts and screaming. The other wild things are yelling at him, telling him to stop. Max runs out of the trees and joins Carol in destroying the huts. The wild things are angry about this and want to eat him. But Max tells them that he was the king where he came from, and he has "special powers," so the wild things can’t eat him. Carol crowns him king of the wild things and the island. Max’s first order of business is to "let the wild rumpus start!" The wild things and Max dance and run around the forest destroying things.

The wild things introduce themselves: Ira (voice: Forest Whitaker), Carol, Douglas (voice: Chris Cooper), the bull, Judith (voice: Catherine O'Hara), and Alexander (voice: Paul Dano). K.W. (voice: Lauren Ambrose) is missing; she’s gone to hang out with other friends, apparently after a disagreement.

Carol shows Max his "Kingdom" and shows him his secret hideaway, where has built a miniature of the island. Carol says "There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen." Max thinks that with effort from all the wild things, they can build a place like that. Over the next few days, Max and the wild things build a large fortress of rocks and sticks.

Tension grows between Max and the wild things when Judith starts to think Max isn’t a good king. They have a dirtball fight and many of the wild things get hurt. K.W. and Carol argue and K.W. takes Max to see her friends Terry and Bob, who turn out to be owls. They go back to the fortress and the wild things (minus Carol) greet them with open arms. Carol throws a fit and is angry that they are letting two outsiders into the group. K.W. runs away with Terry and Bob. Max and the wild things are sad, sitting in the rain. Judith demands to see Max’s "special powers" and wants K.W. to come back. The wild things discover Max isn’t a king and that he has no powers. Carol is angry with Max, telling him he didn’t keep everyone safe, and that he is an awful king.

Max runs away with Carol pursuing him. K.W. hides Max in her stomach until Carol leaves. Max then decides it’s time to go home. Things seem to be better when he and the wild things all go to the beach, where Max’s boat is. Carol is in his secret hideaway crying when he realizes he is being stupid and sees a heart with his initial that Max made for him. (Carol made a similar one for Max on the fort earlier.) Carol runs toward the beach. Max gets into his boat and says goodbye to all the wild things. Carol finally arrives and is unable to speak, so he howls. The other wild things join in and Max howls back. After a brief boat trip he runs back home and his mother greets him with open arms, and feeds him.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Bruce Berman known as executive producer
  • John B. Carls known as producer (as John Carls)
  • Natalie Farrey known as associate producer
  • Gary Goetzman known as producer
  • Tom Hanks known as producer
  • Jon Jashni known as executive producer
  • Catherine Keener known as associate producer
  • Vincent Landay known as producer
  • Scott Mednick known as executive producer
  • Maurice Sendak known as producer
  • Thomas Tull known as executive producer
  • Emma Wilcockson known as associate producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Max Records known as Max
  • Pepita Emmerichs known as Claire
  • Max Pfeifer known as Claire's Friend
  • Madeleine Greaves known as Claire's Friend
  • Joshua Jay known as Claire's Friend
  • Ryan Corr known as Claire's Friend
  • Catherine Keener known as Mom
  • Steve Mouzakis known as Teacher
  • Mark Ruffalo known as The Boyfriend
  • James Gandolfini known as Carol (voice)
  • Vincent Crowley known as Carol
  • Paul Dano known as Alexander (voice)
  • Sonny Gerasimowicz known as Alexander
  • Catherine O'Hara known as Judith (voice)
  • Nick Farnell known as Judith
  • Forest Whitaker known as Ira (voice)
  • Sam Longley known as Ira
  • Michael Berry Jr. known as The Bull (voice)
  • Angus Sampson known as The Bull
  • Mark McCracken known as The Bull Additional Suit Performer
  • Chris Cooper known as Douglas (voice)
  • John Leary known as Douglas
  • Lauren Ambrose known as KW (voice)
  • Alice Parkinson known as KW
  • Garon Michael known as KW Additional Suit Performer
  • James Epinfaniou known as Additional Suit Performer
  • Joshua Evans known as Additional Suit Performer
  • Tess Grimshaw Lloyd known as Additional Suit Performer
  • Lucas Haynes known as Additional Suit Performer
  • Nathan Veal known as Additional Suit Performer
  • Spike Jonze known as Bob / Terry (voice)
  • Brian La Rosa known as Douglas (uncredited)
  • Kalia Prescott known as Max's Classmate (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Lynn Barron known as key makeup artist: additional photography
  • Katherine Brown known as onset creature supervisor
  • Dalia Fernandez known as wig maker
  • Connie Grayson known as wig maker
  • Kellie Griffin known as special makeup effects artist
  • Rob Hinderstein known as eye designer and fabrication
  • Kerrin Jackson known as creatures art and finishing
  • Anna Karpinski known as hair stylist: second unit
  • Anna Karpinski known as makeup artist: second unit
  • Helen Magelaki known as hair technician
  • Lauren McNicol known as on-set dresser
  • Helen Moran known as creature crew
  • Kylie O'Toole known as hair stylist
  • Kylie O'Toole known as makeup artist
  • José Luis Pérez known as hair technician
  • Jess Reedy known as hair technician
  • Tessie Scott known as creature fabricator
  • Zeljka Stanin known as hair stylist
  • Zeljka Stanin known as makeup artist
  • Brydie Stone known as creature fabricator
  • Chiara Tripodi known as key hair designer
  • Chiara Tripodi known as key makeup designer
  • Julie Zobel known as key makeup artist: additional photography

Art Department:

  • Sean Ahern known as construction manager
  • Vaso Babic known as props fabrication
  • Ben Barber known as props buyer
  • Ben Barber known as set dresser
  • Brendan Barlow known as fabrications assistant
  • Dan Beck known as art assistant
  • Michael Bell known as set designer
  • Maudie Brady known as sculptor
  • Steven Carroll known as sculptor
  • Ben Corless known as assistant construction manager
  • Hayden Crowther known as constructor
  • Federico D'Alessandro known as storyboard artist
  • Chad R. Davis known as set dresser: Los Angeles
  • Rohan Dawson known as 2IC painter
  • Stefan Dechant known as illustrator
  • Rome Duval known as propmaker gang boss
  • Dan Engle known as model maker
  • Craig Fison known as sculptor
  • Gary Grimes known as scenic foreman
  • Ray Harvie known as storyboard artist
  • Darryl Henley known as storyboard artist
  • Nick Hepburn known as art department runner
  • Lotte Hilder known as property assistant
  • Derrick Hinman known as set dresser
  • Michael Anthony Jackson known as storyboard artist
  • Paul James known as hod plaster/fabrication
  • Christian Kastner known as on-set dresser
  • Honi Keller known as buyer
  • Honi Keller known as set dresser
  • Philip Keller known as storyboard artist
  • Michael Kocurek known as gangboss
  • Charles Kuc known as sculptor
  • P.K. MacCarthy known as storyboard artist
  • Janine Marshall known as stand-by painter
  • John McKenna known as stand-by props assistant
  • Patrick Meade known as sculptor
  • Anna Meszaros known as sculptor
  • Tim Metherall known as photo storyboard assistant
  • Ralph Moser known as concept artist
  • Adam Mull known as art department assistant
  • Ross Murdoch known as leading hand
  • Frank Musitelle known as greens
  • Shanthi Nadaraja known as construction coordinator
  • Jaudi Negri known as greensmen
  • Melinda Neoh known as paint crew
  • Jeff Plauster known as general foreman: re-shoots
  • Nick Pledge known as senior model maker
  • Mélanie Poudroux known as sculptor
  • Daniel Power known as sculptor
  • Lawrence Prodan known as model & propmaker
  • Eric Ramsey known as storyboard artist
  • Andy Robinson known as scenic artist
  • Constantine Sekeris known as conceptual designer
  • Josh Sheppard known as lead storyboard artist
  • Maya Shimoguchi known as set designer
  • Tuesday Stone known as art department assistant
  • Jocelyn Thomas known as art department coordinator
  • Michelle Venutti known as assistant construction coordinator
  • Sean Leroy West known as greensman
  • Ryan Jeremy Woodward known as storyboard artist
  • Jacob Zhivov known as graphic designer: props
  • Peter Felicetti known as consulting structural engineer (uncredited)
  • Adam Vitolins known as set builder (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Warner Bros. Pictures (presents)
  • Legendary Pictures (in association with)
  • Village Roadshow Pictures (in association with)
  • KLG Film Invest
  • Playtone
  • Wild Things Productions (as Wild Things)

Other Companies:

  • Avatar Studios  music recorded at
  • Body, The  music mixed at
  • DGC Records  soundtrack
  • Digital Film Tree  post consulting and integration
  • Digital Pictures  post-production facilities
  • Fisher Technical Services Rentals  camera & performer flying system
  • Hollywood-DI  HD screening services
  • Interscope Records  soundtrack
  • Jim Henson Company, The  creatures
  • Jim Henson's Creature Shop  creatures
  • Melbourne Film Office  filmed with the assistance of
  • Motion Picture Lighting  lighting
  • OTC Productions  digital asset management
  • On Tour Productions  transportation services
  • Rex Post  additional adr
  • Scarlet Letters  end credits
  • Showfilm  travel agent
  • Star Waggons  cast trailers
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • Threadgold Plummer Hood  payroll services
  • VPS Studios  studio facilities
  • VisionsMCP  doubles casting
  • VisionsMCP  stand-ins
  • Wildfire Studios  adr recording facility


  • Warner Bros. Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • 20th Century Fox (2009) (Malaysia) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Warner Filmes de Portugal (2009) (Portugal) (theatrical)
  • Garsu Pasaulio Irasai (2009) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2010) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Karo Premiere (2010) (Russia) (theatrical)
  • Village Films (2009) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2010) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Warner Bros. (2010) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Argentina Video Home (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Audio Visual Entertainment (2010) (Greece) (DVD)
  • Cinemax (2011) (Hungary) (TV)
  • Film1 (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Germany) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Warner Home Vídeo (2010) (Brazil) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Framestore (animation and visual effects)
  • Iloura (additional visual effects)
  • Dtrain FX (additional visual effects)
  • Rising Sun Pictures (additional visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • David Abbott known as surfacing artist
  • Abubakar Abrar known as roto artist
  • Grant Adam known as lead technical director: Iloura
  • Ben Aickin known as digital compositor
  • William Alexander known as technical director
  • Antony Allen known as paint & roto artist
  • Laia Alomar known as visual effects coordinator
  • Anuj Anand known as digital compositing artist: Framestore
  • Katarzyna Ancuta known as paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Brent Armfield known as visual effects on-set coordinator
  • Charlie Armstrong known as comp supervisor
  • Jörundur Rafn Arnarson known as visual effects artist
  • Laraib Atta known as visual effects
  • David Aulds known as digital compositor
  • Dan Ayling known as matchmove artist
  • Vamsi Ayyagari known as data wrangler
  • Vamsi Ayyagari known as visual effects producer: India
  • Adam Azmy known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Heath Baker known as digital paint artist: Framestore
  • Manjusha Balachandran known as render support
  • Lance Bangs known as visual effects reference
  • Dave Bannister known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Terence Bannon known as animator
  • Harry Bardak known as lead lighting director
  • Giacomo Bargellesi known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Phil Barrenger known as CG supervisor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Tom Baskaya known as compositor
  • Lizi Bedford known as animation line producer: Framestore
  • Michele Benigna known as digital compositor: Framestore CFC
  • Rodrigo Bernardo known as digital intermediate engineer
  • Jarnail Bhachu known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Michael Blain known as r&d developer
  • Robert Bloom known as digital compositing artist: Framestore
  • Felipe Bohórquez known as render support
  • Thomas P. Bolt known as matchmove artist
  • Daniel Booty known as visual effects coordinator
  • Jonathan Bot known as roto/prep
  • Ron Bowman known as digital matte painter
  • Matt Boyer known as matchmove artist
  • Dan Breckwoldt known as compositor
  • Christian Breitling known as research & development technical director
  • Clare Brody known as data operator – framestore
  • Ben Brown known as matchmove artist
  • Robin T. Brown known as digital paint and roto artist
  • Laurie Brugger known as lead rigger
  • Wendell Bruno known as assistant DMR editor (IMAX version)
  • Bertrand Bry-Marfaing known as lighting technical director
  • Paul Buckley known as animator: Iloura
  • Daniel Buhigas known as lead matchmove: Framestore
  • Lukasz Bukowiecki known as visual effects editor: Framestore
  • Will Burdett known as matchmove artist
  • Ross Burgess known as animator: Framestore
  • Enrique Caballero known as character modeller
  • Ben Campbell known as 3d artist
  • Daniela Campos Little known as matchmove artist
  • Marco Cantaluppi known as compositor
  • Simon Carlile known as lighting technical director
  • Ronan Carr Fanning known as character modeller
  • Ean Carr known as digital compositor
  • Helen Carr known as paint & roto artist
  • Ronan Carr known as paint & roto artist
  • Malavika Chandrakanth known as digital paint and roto artist
  • Martin Ciastko known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Paul Claessens known as animator: Framestore
  • Rebecca Clay known as paint & rotoscoping supervisor
  • Justine Codron known as technical director/lighting
  • Emanuele Comotti known as compositor: Framestore CFC
  • Chris Cooper known as matchmove artist
  • Tim Costello known as visual effects production assistant
  • Gregory Creaser known as digital color supervisor
  • Noemie Cruciani known as paint and roto artist
  • Alexia Cui known as technical director
  • Michael Currell known as visual effects coordinator
  • Sean Danischevsky known as compositor
  • Brad Davenport known as visual effects production assistant
  • Dexter Davey known as compositor
  • Cara Tallulha Davies known as visual effects coordinator
  • Amy Davis known as prep artist: Framestore
  • Joanna Davison known as lighting artist
  • Graham Day known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Virginie Degorgue known as digital matte painter: Framestore
  • Marie Victoria Denoga known as digital compositor
  • Ben Dick known as paint and roto artist: Framestore
  • John Dietz known as visual effects supervisor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Tamira Draz known as paint & roto artist
  • Laura Dubsky known as digital compositor
  • Robert Duncan known as visual effects supervisor
  • Siobhan Durkin known as visual effects data wrangler
  • Chris Dwyer known as digital artist
  • Mike Eames known as animation supervisor (as Michael Eames)
  • David Edwards known as digital matte painter
  • Richard Edwards known as data operator – framestore
  • Dadi Einarsson known as visual effects supervisor: Framestore Reykjavik
  • Kate Ellis known as matchmove artist
  • Chris Elson known as digital compositor
  • Arslan Elver known as character animator: Framestore
  • Seynaeve Emmanuel known as lead rigger
  • Shaiju Ep known as digital compositor
  • Selcuk Ergen known as effects technical director: Framestore
  • Stephen Evans known as digital artist
  • Alan Fairlie known as digital compositor: Iloura
  • James Farrington known as character animator: Framestore
  • T.G. Firestone known as visual effects reference (as TG Firestone)
  • David Fish known as cg lighting artist
  • James D. Fleming known as digital compositing artist: Framestore
  • Brad Floyd known as compositor
  • Raffaele Fragapane known as pipeline engineer
  • Maël François known as lighting artist
  • Richard Frazer known as paint & roto artist
  • Simon French known as lighting technical director
  • Ben Frost known as junior effects technical director: Framestore
  • Toby Gallo known as digital image coordinator
  • Nathanial Garbut known as technical director: Iloura
  • Rob Garner known as paint & roto artist
  • Ben Gibbs known as visual effects supervisor
  • Jason Gilholme known as digital effects artist
  • Jonmundur Gislason known as paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Lucinda Glenn known as visual effects coordinator
  • Avi Goodman known as lead animator: Iloura
  • Wayne Goring known as visual effects reference
  • Bhaskar Joyoti Goswami known as digital compositor
  • Matthieu Goutte known as rigger
  • Mai Gray known as digital paint and roto artist: Framestore
  • Neil Greenberg known as visual effects editor
  • Ummi Gudjonsson known as digital artist
  • Roopesh Gujar known as visual effects producer
  • Rhonda C. Gunner known as visual effects consultant
  • Amélie Guyot known as matchmover
  • David Hansen known as digital artist
  • Steve Hardy known as matchmove artist
  • Andrew Harvey known as digital intermediate retouch
  • Steve Hawken known as digital compositor
  • Adam Hawkes known as compositor
  • Karsten Hecker known as digital intermediate engineer
  • Eoin Hegan known as visual effects coordinator: Framestore
  • Dominic Hellier known as digital compositor: Iloura
  • Simon Herden known as assistant visual effects editor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Grayton Hevern known as digital film assistant
  • Frederic Heymans known as digital paint and roto artist
  • Leo Hills known as pipeline technical director: Framestore
  • Winnie Ho known as paint & roto artist
  • Kay Hoddy known as roto/prep artist
  • Sam Hodge known as technical director: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Andrew Hogden known as compositor
  • Glenn Holbrook known as on-set data wrangler
  • Tripp Hudson known as visual effects producer
  • Diego Garcia Huerta known as pipeline lead
  • Marc Hutchings known as Compositor: Animal Logic
  • Fredrik Höglin known as digital compositor
  • Jamie Isles known as senior technical director: lighting
  • Carl Jackson known as matchmove artist: Framestore
  • Daniel Jeannette known as animation director
  • Daniel Jeannette known as visual effects supervisor
  • Mikael Jaeger Jensen known as data manager: Framestore
  • David Johnston known as online editor
  • Oliver Johnstone known as paint & roto artist
  • Dennis Jones known as animator
  • Shant Jordan known as compositing supervisor
  • Helen Judd known as vfx producer: Framestore
  • Christian Kaestner known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Jon Keene known as visual effects coordinator: Framestore
  • Stephanie C. Kelly known as senior paint artist
  • Steve Kimbrey known as matchmove artist
  • David King known as digital artist
  • Daniel Kmet known as animator: Framestore
  • Marc Kolbe known as visual effects supervisor
  • Steve Kreutzmann known as digital artist
  • Nicha Kumkeaw known as digital compositor
  • Laurent Laban known as senior character animator
  • Rick Leach known as digital compositor
  • Aaron Lear known as paint & roto artist
  • Simon Legrand known as digital artist: Animal Logic
  • James Liu known as technical director
  • Daniel Lloyd-Wood known as lead matchmove artist: Framestore
  • Gresham Lochner known as digital compositor
  • Peter Logarusic known as paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Esme Long known as visual effects coordinator
  • James Long known as digital intermediate data operator
  • Keir Longden known as matchmove artist
  • Damien Macé known as digital matte painter: Framestore
  • Sarath Madhavan known as animator: Iloura
  • Ineke Majoor known as visual effects producer: Iloura
  • Rebecca Manning known as digital compositor
  • Mike Marcus known as digital compositor
  • Mike Marcuzzi known as digital artist (IMAX version)
  • Evans Mark known as visual effects artist
  • Ed W. Marsh known as visual effects editor
  • Zebedee Massey known as data wrangler
  • Luke Massingberd known as lead paint & roto artist
  • Ian Mathews known as paint and roto artist
  • Declan McGuire known as assistant technical director
  • Dan McRae known as senior paint and rotoscope artist
  • Alex Meddick known as visual effects editor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Tobias Meier known as lighting: Iloura
  • Glenn Melenhorst known as creative director: Iloura
  • Christophe Meslin known as head of systems
  • Edwin Metternich known as retouch and restoration: Framestore
  • Keith Meure known as digital artist
  • Thomas Montminy Brodeur known as paint & roto artist: Framestore (as Thomas Brodeur)
  • Steven Moor known as technical director
  • Mike Morrison known as senior digital intermediate producer
  • Michael Mulholland known as senior artist
  • Ryan Mullany known as digital artist
  • Craig A. Mumma known as additional visual effects supervisor
  • Daryl Munton known as digital effects artist
  • Eoin Murphy known as software developer
  • Jesh Murthy known as visual effects: Anibrain
  • Steve Newman known as miniatures unit director of photography
  • Daniel Nielsen known as digital compositor: Filmgate
  • Gustaf Nilsson known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Chris Nix known as matchmove artist
  • Gary Noble known as lighting technical director
  • James P. Noon known as tracking
  • Sam Norman known as digital compositor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Robert Nzengou-Tayo known as matchmove artist
  • Alfie Olivier known as lead lighter
  • Conrad Olson known as paint & roto artist
  • Matt Omond known as digital compositor
  • Mark Osborne known as lead lighting technical director
  • Matthew Ozerski known as visual effects editor: Australia
  • Pierre Pages known as technical director lighting
  • Maricel Pagulayan known as visual effects producer
  • Adam Parker known as retouch and restoration: Framestore
  • Jesse Parkhill known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Steve Parsons known as digital compositor
  • Tom Partridge known as visual effects editor
  • Ben Paschke known as technical director: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Radhika Patel known as matchmove artist: Framestore
  • James Payfer known as digital compositor
  • Tom Pegg known as compositor: Framestore
  • Miriam Pepper known as motion tracker: Framestore
  • Angelo Perrotta known as digital compositor
  • Nicolas Petit known as pipeline engineer
  • Ryan Pilcher known as matchmove artist
  • Jorge Pimentel known as lighting technical director
  • Andy Pinson known as digital paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Caroline Pires known as paint and roto artist
  • Jo Plaete known as assistant technical director: Framestore
  • Marine Poirson known as lighting technical director
  • Melvin Polayah known as senior matchmove artist
  • Jason Pomerantz known as digital artist: IMAX
  • James Porter known as matchmove artist
  • Aled Prosser known as digital compositor: framestore
  • Howard Protheroe known as digital compositor: framestore
  • Paul Pytlik known as digital artist (IMAX version)
  • Janet Quen known as senior Inferno artist
  • Sirio Quintavalle known as visual effects supervisor
  • Michael Ralla known as digital compositor: Animal Logic
  • Sagar Rathod known as character rigger
  • Benjamin Rayner known as compositor
  • Nicholas David Reed known as lead matchmove artist
  • Robin Reyer known as technical director
  • Alessandro Riberti known as lighting artist
  • Marc Rice known as paint & roto artist
  • Bjarni Robert Bragason known as digital paint & roto: Framestore Iceland
  • James William Roberts known as visual effects: Framestore
  • Rachel Roberts known as visual effects production manager: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Scott Robertson known as junior rotoscope artist
  • Dave Robinson known as systems engineer
  • Craig Edward Rogers Jr. known as film recording
  • Petr Rohr known as senior matchmover: Framestore
  • Bazyuchenko Roman known as digital effects artist
  • Simon Rosenthal known as visual effects executive producer: Iloura
  • Dale Rostron known as matchmove artist: Framestore
  • Gavin Round known as additional digital intermediate producer
  • Rajat Roy known as digital compositor
  • Saravanan Sala known as paint artist
  • Nico Scapel known as head of rigging
  • Petra Schwane known as sequence lead: Framestore
  • Kino Scialabba known as matte painter
  • László Sebõ known as pipeline programmer
  • Nicolas Seck known as animator
  • Romain Bivar Segurado known as character modeller (as Romain Segurago)
  • Aatesh Shah known as systems engineer: Framestore
  • Foad Shah known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • David Shere known as compositing sequence lead
  • Prateep Siamwalla known as tracking
  • Arnþruður Dögg Sigurðardóttir known as visual effects producer
  • David Simpson known as paint & roto artist: Framestore
  • Katherine Smith known as senior production coordinator
  • Laurence Smith known as paint and roto artist: Framestore
  • Drew Solodzuk known as DMR editor
  • Kevin Spruce known as animation lead
  • Muthu Stalin known as lead matchmover
  • Penn Stevens known as creature technical director: Framestore
  • James Sutton known as lighting technical director
  • David Swift known as matte and texture artist: Framestore
  • Paul Taylor known as visual effects editor
  • Stephen Tew known as digital paint and roto artist
  • Abu Thahir known as digital compositor: anibrain
  • Andrew Myles Thompson known as animator: Framestore
  • Michael Adam Thompson known as matchmover: Framestore
  • Rupert Thorpe known as lighting technical director
  • Richard Thwaites known as visual effects coordinator
  • Oscar Tornincasa known as digital compositor
  • Sara Trezzi known as visual effects line producer
  • Nick Tripodi known as animator: Iloura
  • Adam Trowse known as animator
  • Adam Trowse known as compositor
  • Ben Turner known as digital compositor
  • George Vajna known as second assistant DMR editor (IMAX version)
  • Brad van Bodegom known as digital artist (IMAX version)
  • Mark van den Bergen known as digital compositor
  • Lars van der Bijl known as assistant technical director
  • Tom van Dop known as digital paint artist: Framestore
  • Freddie Vaziri known as compositor
  • Sebastien Veilleux known as digital compositor
  • Beck Veitch known as digital compositor: Rising Sun Pictures
  • Chris Ventress known as paint and roto artist
  • Giuliano Dionisio Vigano' known as senior compositor
  • Lars Vinther known as visual effects editor
  • William Voermann known as animation camera operator
  • Pragti Wadhwa known as senior paint artist
  • Mark Wainwright known as visual effects artist
  • Maggie Walby known as lead roto artist: Framestore CFC
  • Tara Walker known as compositor
  • Mark Wallman known as digital effects artist
  • Brian Ward known as digital effects artist
  • Stuart Warne known as visual effects editor
  • Rodrigo Washington known as visual effects artist
  • Chris Watts known as visual effects supervisor
  • Peter Webb known as visual effects supervisor: Iloura
  • Timothy Webber known as visual effects supervisor: Framestore
  • Neil West known as senior matchmove artist
  • Jodie Weston known as database consultant
  • Adrian White known as digital compositor
  • Ben White known as cg supervisor: Framestore
  • Nick Whiteley known as paint and roto artist: Framestore
  • Tom Whittington known as paint & roto artist
  • Tom Wild known as visual effects coordinator
  • Rachel Williams known as fur groomer
  • Rachel Williams known as lighting technical director
  • Rachel Williams known as texture artist
  • Corrina Wilson known as lead compositor: Framestore
  • Martin Wiseman known as visual effects producer
  • Eric Withee known as visual effects coordinator
  • Graham Wood known as matchmove artist
  • Jamie Wood known as digital compositor
  • Xye known as tracking
  • Koji Yamaguchi known as digital compositor
  • Tim Young known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Jason Michael Zimmerman known as digital compositor
  • Zachary Bloom known as scanning and recording: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Jerome Dewhurst known as di engineer (uncredited)
  • Anand Dorairaj known as digital compositor: Framestore (uncredited)
  • Robert Eskekarr known as digital compositor (uncredited)
  • Edwina Hayes known as visual effects producer (uncredited)
  • Bhushan Humbe known as digital compositor (uncredited)
  • Hetal Jain known as visual effects producer (uncredited)
  • Greg Maguire known as creature technical director: zoogloo (uncredited)
  • Chris B. Schnitzer known as director of visual effects: Warner Bros. (uncredited)
  • Jens-Peter Sjøberg known as senior compositor (uncredited)
  • Pankaj Sonawane known as digital compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 13 October 2009 (New York City, New York) (premiere)
  • Canada 16 October 2009
  • USA 16 October 2009
  • Italy 30 October 2009
  • Ukraine 5 November 2009
  • Malaysia 19 November 2009
  • Romania 27 November 2009
  • Australia 3 December 2009
  • New Zealand 3 December 2009
  • Israel 10 December 2009
  • Ireland 11 December 2009
  • Lithuania 11 December 2009
  • Norway 11 December 2009
  • Turkey 11 December 2009
  • UK 11 December 2009
  • France 16 December 2009
  • Switzerland 16 December 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Germany 17 December 2009
  • Switzerland 17 December 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Austria 18 December 2009
  • Spain 18 December 2009
  • Belgium 30 December 2009
  • Portugal 7 January 2010
  • Finland 8 January 2010
  • Netherlands 14 January 2010
  • Brazil 15 January 2010
  • Japan 15 January 2010
  • Greece 21 January 2010
  • Thailand 21 January 2010
  • Venezuela 22 January 2010
  • Sweden 29 January 2010
  • Philippines 3 February 2010
  • Kuwait 11 February 2010
  • Singapore 11 March 2010
  • Hungary 16 March 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Denmark 25 March 2010
  • Mexico 2 April 2010
  • Russia 20 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Argentina 7 July 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .


  1. MisterWhiplash from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    It's taken Spike Jonze a while to write, film, edit and (after somewrestling with Warner brothers over the final cut) release hisadaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. One whogreatly admires filmmakers will wait especially for a filmmaker whotakes his time in creating something after years of speculation. Now,the filmmaker who first came on the scene with Being John Malkovich,once again gives me a one-word response with this third film of his:Wow. Hot damn. That's two more. This is, simply, a classic work offilm-making, but also on a particular subject that so few filmmakerseven attempt to make let alone get right, which is what it's like toreally be a child. Films that come to mind like this could also includethe 400 Blows, Fanny and Alexander, (arguably) Tideland and E.T. Nowhere's another, and one that is directed with an original eye and aninspiration of texture and feeling, a look like out of our own wantedchildhood playgrounds. Or some kind of playground.

    If you don't know the story by Sendak- and to be fair it's only severalpages long and its story was *loosely* used for this film- is aboutMax, who, not entirely pleased with his life in the real world venturesinto the world of the 'Wild Things', a place where he can be king (orrather makes himself one) and tries to create a paradise with hisfellow creatures. This is the main bit of what the story is "about",but how it's about it is a whole other matter. It's a movie childrencan see and hopefully adore, but it's more than that. What it's goingfor is childhood itself, what makes up a young guy who has littleexperience in the real world and can only really see things throughimagination and in a prism of what the 'real world' represents.

    We see Max in class, for example, learning about how the sun works inrelation to Earth. It's a truthful but pessimistic lecture (consideringto elementary school kids no less) about how one day the sun will die,and so will all life. This is carried with Max when he ventures intothe world of the Wild Things, and when he mentions this to Carolthere's a perplexed response to this. "It's so small," Carol says ofthe Sun, and while it doesn't bother him at the moment it later comesback as a bit of real inner turmoil that Carol can barely contemplate.Or anyone else for that matter. Can one really be expected as a childto understand the full scope of the sun dying out and life as everyoneknows it ending? It may be billions of years away, but to a little boyit could be just around the corner.

    That, by the way, is one of the brilliant things about the movie – allof Max's collected experience, and who he is as a person, and what hecan see and understand around him in his family and surroundings, isrepresented in the bunch of Wild Things. All of Max, indeed, is splitamong all of them: Carol, KW, Douglas, Ira, Alexander, and a particular'quiet' Wild Thing that barely says a word, they're all Max, and yetbecause of their split pieces they're never fully whole either. Thismakes it easy, perhaps, for Max to be crowned as their king (hey, hedid lead vikings after all!), and to lead Carol's dream of a fortressfor them all where "everything you would want to happen would happen."There's magical moments experienced among them, and all of the WildThings, thanks to the Jim Henson creature shop work, are all in frontof us and live and breathe as real things in this set of 'wild'locations (woods, desert, beach, rocky coast). As soon as you can openup yourself to these being real beings, not just animatronics, thewhole emotional core of the film opens up as well.

    But oh, it's also such an unusually, beautifully realized film. Fromits vivid and in-the-moment use of hand-held cinematography (and,sometimes, the stillness of looking at the creatures and Max in thebackdrops), to the songs from Karen O. that are always supportive ofthe scenes (never the obtrusive kinds in other kids movies), to thecomplex relationships between all of the characters that one can seereminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, it's a piece of pop-art that lets theviewer in. Its welcoming, refreshing and kind of staggering to seesomeone who knows the way children think, and how we don't have to be amixed-up little boy to identify and see ourselves in Max (and, also,how we can't fully identify with things as a child like divorce, re:Carol and KW's 'friendship'). Where the Wild Things Are works asspectacle and comedy, and as the best Jim Henson movie the man nevermade, so it works for children. But for adults, because it's reallyabout *us*, it can work wonders for us too.

    Let the wild rumpus start!

  2. doubleosix from Hollywood
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    I attended an early screening with my 8 year old daughter; we're bothbig fans of Sendak in general and this book in particular, and I quitelike Spike Jonze as well. But this did not prepare us for the moody,almost downbeat atmosphere through most of the film, nor the sense ofimmediacy and almost hyper-realism combined with astoundingly fancifulimagery. It is such an odd movie! And yet, when it was over, we turnedto each other smiling a melancholy smile and said, "I loved it." Theexpansion of the tiny story into a feature-length film is so subtlethat you barely sense it happening. There isn't an artificial new plotlaid over the bones of the original — it's simply expanded at everyturn and very gently stretched out to feature length. The voiceperformances are wonderful, and the costumes are magnificent, as is theone major visual addition to the material (which I won't give away).Enjoy!

  3. captelephant from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    Where the Wild Things are is a well written, intelligent, and very colddrama about the often challenging interactions within a closed group ofpeople, the complexities of leadership and the cost of selfishness.

    It's not a movie about imagination or childhood at all, and it's onlyvaguely concerned with themes of growing up, family or maturity.

    It's not wacky or funny. Not colorful or exciting. There's only about10 minutes of what I'd call "fun" in the whole 2-hour package.

    That doesn't make Where the Wild Things Are a bad movie. It just makesit completely defiant of the viewer's expectations, and thus a ratherconfusing film to watch.

    The first time I saw this I wasn't sure how I was supposed to be takingthings. Was that supposed to be funny? Is she being sarcastic, orserious? Is Max in real danger now, or not? That's not because themovie is actually confusing, but because it all seems vaguely wrong andinappropriate. I left scratching my head saying "I guess that wasgood?"

    In the end I decided I didn't like it. I felt that this was either thewrong script for this movie or the wrong movie for this script. Eitherway, it didn't click for me and felt awkward to the end.

    Nevertheless there is quality here, and I recommend you watch ityourself and reach your own conclusion.

  4. smdonovan30 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    Plot Synopsis: Adapted from Sendak's beloved children's book, the storyfollows Max (Records), a young boy experiencing both the joys andloneliness of childhood. After a fight with his mother (Keener), Maxruns away; a wild rumpus ensues.

    In the years since principal photography wrapped, Spike Jonze's Wherethe Wild Things Are has become notorious for its turbulent production.After seeing Jonze's first cut, the studio considered re-shooting theentire film, feeling that it was too dark to attract the audiences an80 million dollar budget normally justifies. Apparently they wereexpecting something along the lines of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, not apoignant, complex journey into the mind of a young boy.

    It's not a coincidence that Sendak refused to allow any adaptation ofhis story to enter production until he had hand picked Jonze to direct,feeling the director was the only one up to the task of capturing thesubtle sensibilities of his classic tale. The end result ismesmerizing. Jonze's creation is a masterful piece of art, bothvisually arresting and exquisitely affecting. You will never seeboyhood captured as truthfully on film as it is in the film's first 20minutes. Its richness only increases when Max runs away, the events ofhis odyssey reflecting the depths of his psyche.

    The film is as visually stunning as anything released this or any otheryear. The images are paired beautifully with the tone of the story, agoal many filmmakers strive for but seldom accomplish. Striking imagesonly carry a film so far, and it's Max that gives the film its heart.Records delivers an exceptional performance in a truly complex role; hemasterfully exposes Max's inner pensiveness, expressing a range ofemotions most adult actors strive to demonstrate their whole careers.

    Those who know me are undoubtedly aware that Sendak's book holds aspecial place in my heart. If anything, my feelings about the film areindicative of its successes, and should not be read as the words of afanboy who would have adored the film regardless of its content. Myexpectations were astronomical, and the fact that the film exceededthose expectations are a true measure of its brilliance. It soars toheights I never could have imagined.

  5. chadandlili from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    This film jumps around between gravely disturbing, mind-numbinglytedious, naively innocent, and severely depressing. Our nearlyseven-year-old daughter and her friend were bored to tears, ourtwo-year-old was freaked out, and our whole family felt simply awfulafterwards. What a waste of time, money, nerves, and my 35th birthday!

    (Warning! Minor spoilers follow—as if anything could spoil the viewingof this movie more than the movie itself.)

    The film's main message seems to be that just because your parents getdivorced, or your monstrous girlfriend moves out, or your older sisterstarts hanging out with other friends instead of you, or your momstarts dating again, or, worst of all, she decides to cook frozen corninstead of "real" corn … does not mean that it is acceptable behaviorfor you to trash someone's bedroom, bite someone's shoulder, destroysomeone's house, or tear someone's arm off. If only you would finallypull back that wolf hood and realize that your demented actions haveexhausted your poor mother (and an entire audience).

    The filmmakers somehow manage to deliver their message in asimultaneously heavy-handed and vague way. Most viewers will not graspit, and those few who do will probably not have need of it. If you darewatch this cinematic abomination—which life-sucking action I wouldnever recommend—please understand that you will be subjected todisplays of emotional instability the likes of which have not beenwitnessed since Anakin Skywalker graced the screen. At least Anakin hada cool lightsaber to vent his frustrations; besides using a fork andhis teeth, our dear friend Max can do nothing but track snow into thehouse, defiantly stand on the kitchen counter, and conjure up a pile ofdysfunctional overgrown tater tots (and a goat) to help him exploreevery ugly facet of his consciousness.

    You should also be prepared for some ambiguity: I believed for anoverlong period that Max's older sister was actually someacross-the-street neighbor that Max had a crush on, so imagine mysurprise when Max's mother suddenly asked the girl to clear her thingsoff the table for dinner! Another confusing bit is the fact that themain tater tot-creature is named Carol even though he is male, and thischaracter is first seen when he is destroying houses for a reason whichwill remain unclear unless you can decipher his shouts amidst all thebangs, booms, and gnashing of teeth.

    The movie has an air of being steeped in symbolism or in childpsychology, but really all that comes across is alarming juvenilepsychopathy with a shallow, incomplete, and one-sided resolution.

    Several inconsistencies appear in the film, the most upsetting of whichhas to do with physical injury. When one character is sharply struckwith a dirt clod, his resulting wound and suffering are clearlyevident; yet when another character loses his arm in a scene which isnot graphic but still gruesome, the filmmakers conveniently gloss overany expected pain and replace it with a cheesy joke. How inappropriateand insulting!

    The movie is not at all a delightful adaptation of a beloved children'sbook. It provides absolutely no entertainment for children or adults.Its seeming claims to educational value are far from viable. Itembodies a perfect recipient of the complaint relegated to poor films:"That's two hours of my life I'll never get back!"

  6. Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    Spike Jonze’s imagining of “Where the Wild Things Are” is nothing like you’d expect from a film adapted from a beloved children’s book. It’s dense with top-notch visuals from the cinematography to the incredible fusion of costumes, puppetry and CGI used to bring the Wild Things to life, but its plot is very frank in its approach to anger, sadness and loneliness. It should be noted that this is not so much a children’s film as it is a film that children are capable of enjoying. I refuse to insist that this is not for children, but it would be untruthful to say that this is a film *intended* for them. “Wild Things” is likely going to be appreciated most by those who already have experienced what the main character Max is going through emotionally with regards to his family and his peers (the wild things). To put a number on it, I think that — depending on the child — kids ages nine or older will not only be able to enjoy it, but take something away from it. As for adults, it should be a touching and somewhat nostalgic filmgoing experience.Jonze pretty much perfectly captures the essence of childhood within the first 20 minutes of this film. Whether it’s the way Max (Max Records, who is excellent) looks up at his mom (Catherine Keener) from underneath her desk or his imagination taking over as he sails a toy boat over the curves of his covers, Jonze creates moments that reconnect us to childhood in simply poetic fashion. Immediately we’re ready for Max’s adventure to begin because he helps us so easily recall that childlike state of mind.After a bad dispute that ends with Max biting his mom, he runs away and discovers the island where the wild things are. If you’ve seen the trailer, nothing more needs to be said about Jonze’s incredible choice to go with puppets and blend in CGI elements to give it a breath of realism. As for the characters themselves, Jonze and longtime co-writer Dave Eggers take an interesting approach. The wild things are voiced by adult actors and give them a sense humor appealing to adults, but give them the social functionality of eight-year-olds. It ends up creating this schism between what we expect will happen (they’re going to behave either like children or adults, it can’t be both) and what does (they carry themselves like adults, but they interact like children). The results of this concept fall somewhere between hysterically genius and bizarre/random. On one hand their child-like behavior makes for some elegant teaching points for Max and on the other you have one wild thing knocking two gulls out of the sky and then telling Max their names are Bob and Terry. It’s simultaneously goofy/immature and completely fantastic.One of the challenges of the film had to be expanding the story to adapt instead of condensing like most adaptations require. Jonze and Eggers use this as a chance to establish the real world issues Max is dealing with (how to handle his need for parental attention and his anger) and manifest them in this imaginary way in the world of the wild things. The scenes with the wild things are very physical, which will help to keep children’s attention. They have a dirt clod fight and go running through the forest before falling into a pile (we all know what that was like as children).Some parents who are very sensitive to what their kids see might have trouble being okay with some of the anger and other extreme emotions. If there’s one good way to put it, it’s that the emotional transitions can be abrupt. One minute is playful and fun, the next can instantly become lonely or sad and then immediately one of anger mild violence follows. Some might wonder why this wasn’t catered more directly to kids, but if you stop and think, don’t instant emotional mood swings sounds like a pretty spot-on portrayal of childhood?Jonze telling of “Wild Things” is a mature albeit truthful one. This is not pure syrupy children’s entertainment. A child should come out of this movie knowing disputes between family members happen, but that it doesn’t change how much we love each other — that it’s okay to get angry sometimes, but we should try and understand everyone’s feelings so that next time nobody will do anything they regret. That’s daring storytelling considering the expectation was for something lighter. Absolute kudos to Jonze and Warner Brothers for letting this unique film happen. You don’t see movies about childhood as beautiful as this one more than once a blue moon, which is plenty cause for a wild rumpus. ~Steven C

  7. robertvaughn from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    A beautiful, audacious, roughly-hewn motion picture (adjectives thatare no doubt overused in describing the picture's modus operandi),Spike Jonze's adaptation Maurice Sendak's adored children's book "Wherethe Wild Things Are" taps into the innocent, volatile world of a 9 yearold boy the way few mainstream feature films have. It is original,unique, melancholy, and because of this several mainstream critics (andeven lucid critics like Salon's Stephanie Zacharek) have derided thefilm. "There's no story"; "kids won't like it"; "it's an adult filmabout children, not a children's film"; "it's boring"; "the pacing isslow"…

    What? Why did it become such a crime to make an abstract art filmwithin the spineless confines of the Hollywood system? Doesn't SpikeJonze get credit for personalizing, therefore, retaining a substantialamount of voracity while delving into one of the most reveredchildren's books of the last fifty years? What the hell is wrong withthat? I understand that some people just don't respond to the abstract,pseudo-verisimilitude of pretentious art films, but there's astripped-down purity to this picture that cannot be denied. It's notpretentious, but emotional and honest.

    It's bold, it takes chances…why is it being chastised in the media?How often do we get movies like "Where the Wild Things Are"? It shouldbe celebrated, not snidely dismissed (Ex. Lou Lumenick, NY Post).

  8. jaredmobarak from buffalo, ny, usa
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    The movie is rated PG, but I will say that its dark overtones could bea bit much for really young children. Is it to the point where rumorsswirled that it might have been completely re-shot due to Jonze'svision being too scary for its target audience? I don't think so, butbuyer be warned anyway. Sendak's book shows a glimpse of temper andanger, a child acting out after not getting what he wants, soonbecoming the king of a band of giant monsters looking for directionmuch like him. These beasts are the manifestations of our sorrow, ourfrustration, and our demons; they are the voices living within us, keptdown by self-control and overcome by happiness and love. However, whenthose emotions are brought to life, unchecked, the end result can benothing short of war, retribution, and malice. It becomes the duty ofyoung Max, the creator of this imaginary world, to not only discoverthe love he has waiting back at home, but also to defeat the anger thathas been bubbling to the surface, allowing him to even bite his motherin this cinematic version. We all need some time to let loose and runwild—howling to the moon—it is what we do after the burst of energysubsides that counts. Sometimes looking into a mirror is the onlychance we have of becoming the people we should and hope to be.

    Eggers and Jonze add so much depth to the tale, creating a world andlife for Max, (Max Records), to take for granted. His father is,assumingly, deceased; his mother, (Catherine Keener), is busysupporting the family when not trying her best to cultivate Max'simagination and court a new boyfriend, (Mark Ruffalo); and his sisteris at the age where acting cool for her friends trumps any remorse orsibling bond with a lonely and tossed aside brother. As KW, (LaurenAmbrose), says later on in the film, "It's hard being a family".Everyone is trying their best and working hard to stick together, butas Judith, (Catherine O'Hara), ponders, "Happiness isn't always thebest way to become happy". Loneliness is a huge theme here, and we allface it, even when surrounded by people we live with and cherish. To beable to accept others, one must always be able to accept oneself. Thisbecomes the biggest obstacle for Max to overcome, right alongside hisfantastical equal in Carol, (James Gandolfini). The two are kindredspirits, wanting to stay in the past where they remember happier times,throwing tantrums and fits if they don't get their way, unknowinglypushing those they want closer, further away as a result.

    It is some weighty stuff to deal with for both children and adultsalike; a parable that spans all ages with its intrinsic focus oncompromise, sharing, and seeing what is right in front of us for thepure gift it can be. Kudos to the filmmakers for never shying away fromthe darkness that inhabits each and every one of us; when the worldbegins to crumble, characters get angry, cause destruction, or cower infright at what may happen next. We all fear the unknown, we all getscared when we see someone we love in trouble, but sometimes we forgetthat those by our side fear for us too when it is we who are lost. Thetrue success of this story and film lies in the little things, likeAlexander, (Paul Dano really adding some feeling to this ram-likebeast), and Douglas, (the always wonderful Chris Cooper), knowing thegame going on with Max, but trying their best to let the others behappy, even at the detriment of their own joy. Here are the twounselfish creatures in a land of egos. The other "wild things" prop upthe film as well, however, in their vocal performances as well aspuppetry. If you ever thought that costumed monsters from Jim HensonStudios couldn't make you cry, or at least feel something, you willknow they can before the end credits roll.

    Where the Wild Things Are needs these fantastical beings to have theemotional range of a human being in order to succeed. It also needsyoung Max Records to bear a large portion of the weight on hisshoulders; he is alone on screen with the "wild things" for abouteighty percent of the film. I will admit to being pretty confident onthe first point, but a bit skeptical on the second after watching thetrailer, (how beautiful is that mini-movie with Arcade Fire playing inthe background?). However, I was completely wrong about Records,because his innocence is what keeps this tale pure. His childlikeexpressions of joy and fright are utterly realistic, taking him on ajourney inside himself, discovering what it is to grow up and acceptresponsibility for oneself and those around him. As for the wild bunchof half animals/half humans—they are absolutely brilliant. The artdirection is phenomenal and the use of practical effects meshed withCGI, (mostly in the faces), provides a sense of realism that fullycomputerized beings never could. Heck, even that Karen O soundtrackthat I was so disappointed in last week became a magical score thatbreathed life into this classic story. I truly believe this film willbecome the treasured piece of art that its source material has. Itdeserves all the praise it gets for its ability to touch each audiencemember to the core, without ever preaching. It will touch you on alevel so pure that you won't know what hit you, and you'll beremembering it hours afterwards, wanting to find that person you loveso as to give them a hug to let them know how important they are toyou.

  9. karl-prinz from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    When I first saw that Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers were adapting "Wherethe Wild Things Are" into a feature-length film, one question keptcoming up: how do you turn a nine sentence children's book into amovie? Unfortunately, after seeing it, the question remains. My initialreaction was that I felt dazed. Part of this reaction was derived fromthe awe of seeing top-notch, jaw-dropping CGI and puppetry bring theillustrations from Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book to life.Another part was the appreciation of the fabulous voice acting of JamesGandolfini, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Dano, LaurenAmbrose, and Michael Berry, Jr., which added depth (and names) tomonsters that never spoke in Sendak's book. However, the overridingreason for feeling dazed is that the viewer is unfortunately beatenover the head with heavy-handed metaphors for the duration of Max's(Max Records) time on the island.

    It takes the viewer little time to figure out the role each monsterplays in Max's psyche. Carol (Gandolfini) is mostly Max and representshis wildly-swinging emotions, switching from happiness to destructiveanger to crushing depression with little warning, while Douglas(Cooper) is Carol's safety blanket and represents the same for Max; afriend who is nearly always obedient and agreeable. In Max's real life,we never see this person, so perhaps Douglas is an imaginary friend inMax's waking hours. At least, we can only hope he's imaginary afterseeing how Carol treats Douglas.

    K.W. (Ambrose) is Max's sister, Claire, not only emotionally—bothcharacters keep leaving the "family" to hang out with cooler friends,breeding jealousy in Carol as Claire does to Max—but also physically,as both the puppet and actress (Pepita Emmerichs) have shaggy brownhair, a slow smile, and that all-too-detached teenage voice. Alexander(Dano) is Max's fear and insecurity. Physically Alexander is smallerthan the rest of the monsters, which is a nice detail for a characterthat always feels ignored and attention-starved.

    While the main conflict lies between Carol and K.W., the two mosttelling monsters are Judith (O'Hara) and Ira (Whitaker). Theserepresent Max's parents. When Max stormed out of his house to begin hisadventure, it was rage towards his mother that served as the catalyst,which even manifested itself in Max biting her shoulder. It's no wonderthen that Judith displays all the things Max dislikes about his mother:she is the one that doubts him, questions his motives, and generallyruins his good times. If Max had stormed off into the woods after theopening sequence involving Claire's friends destroying his igloo, itwould have been K.W. that played this role, while Judith would havebeen the reassuring, yet distant character.

    Ira is most definitely Max's father, who is never shown in the film,but doesn't have to be. Max obviously longs for him and shows nothingbut jealousy and anger towards his mother's new boyfriend. The mostobvious clue is that Judith and Ira are the only couple on the island.Ira is a pleasant, lovable character, which is how Max would idealizehis father if he was mad at his mother. Furthermore, Ira is the monsterthat Max goes out of his way compliment—a bit of a role-reversal fromfather-to-son, now king-to-subject—and Ira is the only monster that Maxhugs when he departs.

    It's an interesting concept, turning a children's book into Freud 101,but is seems dark and oppressive. I realize Sendak's book was visuallydark, but emotionally is was vibrant and happy, much like the melody to"Wake Up" by Arcade Fire that was used in the trailer. Unfortunately,this film desperately fails to be vibrant and happy, and for a moviebased on a children's book that many parents will take their childrento see, it's a major flaw.

  10. milyrake from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:01 am

    Seriously, that was one of the most bring you down, feel bad, downermovies I have ever seen. I honestly didn't get it. The wild things weremean to each other, the wild things were mean to the boy, no one washappy (especially my kids), the wild things had scowls on their facesthe whole time and walked around in a kind of trance like state glaringand yelling at each other. If there was ever a hint of happiness it wasquickly followed by some rude remark or mean comment to stifle themood. I kept thinking to myself, "why did he do that" or "why did hesay that", it made no sense.

    The movie begins with the boy being mistreated by his sister, and thenyelled at by his mom so he runs away. Then the sad feelings continue asthe wild things act the same way towards each other. At one point when,Carol, goes completely bonkers and rips the arm off of his 'friend' andthen tries to hit Max and then chases him through the woods, I feltlike I HAD taken my kids to Saw!

    If you've ever had any negative, sad, depressing or horribleexperiences during your childhood/adolescence, then go see this movie,and they will all come flooding back….

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