Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

An adaptation of the legendary children's picture book by Maurice Sendak by one of cinema's most exciting talents: Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich).

Jonze employs live action and puppetry to flesh out the story that went something like this: Boy gets put to bed; boy sees jungle growing around his bed; boy meets strange monsters; boy dances around with monsters; boy returns to his bed. The cast is also great: Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind), plus the voice talents of James Gandolfini, Michelle Williams, Catherine O'Hara, Forrest Whitaker and Paul Dano. The young Max is played by newcomer Max Records.

2009Rating: PG, some scenes may scare very young children101 minsUSA
DramaKids & FamilyFantasy
Director:
Spike Jonze ('Adaptation', 'Being John Malkovich', and many of your favourite music videos)
Writer:
Spike JonzeDave Eggers
Cast:
Forest WhitakerMichelle WilliamsPaul DanoCatherine KeenerJames GandolfiniCatherine O'HaraMax RecordsMark Ruffalo

Streaming (4 Providers)

Where the Wild Things Are / Reviews

Flicks, Andrew Hedley

Flicks, Andrew Hedley

A ten-sentence picture book from 1963 has inspired a 100-minute movie about the anxieties and loneliness of childhood. Thankfully, the lack of strong narrative makes way for a beautifully fragile and contemplative tone, under which lies very gentle humour and moments of inspired lunacy (wait until you meet Terry and Bob).

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Variety

Variety

Director Spike Jonze's sharp instincts and vibrant visual style can't quite compensate for the lack of narrative eventfulness that increasingly bogs down this bright-minded picture.

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The Times

The Times

It’s all very charming and quirky. The hipster flavour that Jonze adds to the film, together with the soundtrack from the downtown NY goddess Karen O, certainly makes this tonally unique among children’s films. But it’s also, ultimately, a little flimsy and unlikely to achieve anything like the iconic status of its source material.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

With Where the Wild Things Are Jonze has made a work of art that stands up to its source and, in some instances, surpasses it.

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Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

Jonze has filmed a fantasy as if it were absolutely real, allowing us to see the world as Max sees it, full of beauty and terror. The brilliant songs, by Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and the Kids, enhance the film's power.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

The movie felt long to me, and there were some stretches during which I was less than riveted. Is it possible that there wasn't enough Sendak story to justify a feature-length film?

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

It's hard not to be entranced throughout by the boy in the wolf suit as he runs wild, but eventually goes home a little wiser.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

When faced as a director with the rudderless screenplay he (Jonze) co-wrote with Eggers, he's been powerless to energize it in any involving way. Sometimes you are better off with 10 sentences than tens of millions of dollars, and this is one of those times.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Where the film falters is Jonze and novelist Dave Eggers' adaptation, which fails to invest this world with strong emotions.

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Dominion Post

Dominion Post

Jonze has brought depth, melancholy and purpose to his film.

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