Where the Wild Things Are - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Where the Wild Things Are Reviews

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March 12, 2017
This film is not just visually great but amazingly acted showing a
troubled child and how they actually act. I must warn you though it
does deal with very dark subjects and much like a monster calls if you
want to watch this with your child you might need to plan on explaining
some iffy subject matter. It is a truly beautiful movie and i do
recommend you watching it. Is it perfect no but i give it a 5/5 because I love watching the film and that it deserves a lot more credit than people give it.
March 4, 2017
Walked away from the first viewing totally blown away and emotionally exhausted, and found the second viewing even more satisfying. Congrats Spike Jonze on 3 consecutive incredible films!
February 7, 2017
A very smart, emotional film that in my opinion is criminally underrated and deserves more attention and praise.
½ January 17, 2017
For me, as for many small children, the cruelty of schoolmates, bickering between me and my siblings, and feeling misunderstood by adults were all sources of hurt, frustration, and genuine heartache. I remember putting on my Superman cape, my Ninja Turtle bandana, or my Batman mask and retreating to the backyard or, mother forbid, climbing onto the roof of the house to escape into the recesses of my imagination. There, I could be whoever I wanted to be.

When real-life bullies exploited my physical weakness and avoidance of violence, there in the grass I was more powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet. In my imagination I wouldn't need to fight; bullies respected my strength and backed down. If my loving parents ever showed exasperation at my limitless energy and rightfully attempted to place limits and rules, I'd pretend I could fly away, never to be held down. When older siblings, entering adolescence, balked at my immature playfulness, I dealt with the very real heartache and confusion by pretending I was a hero or a king. Then, I was adored, appreciated, and loved. I became someone who saved the day and earned the respect of those around me.

For that reason I, like millions of readers across the decades, identified so readily with Max, the protagonist in Maurice Sendak's classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. Dressing like an animal to escape his home life, he imagines a land of creatures and monsters that make him their king. A brisk ten sentences in length, the book tapped into something primal in my childhood heart.

Spike Jonze's hour and 45 minute film version expands on Sendak's vision without straying from its essence, and like E.T. and The Goonies, addresses real-world stresses that effect children in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner even as it interweaves them with its fantasy. In fact, the entire film is a wonderful hybrid of the real and the surreal, and rings true to the oft-forgotten emotional experience of childhood.

If this all sounds deep...it is. This is not a lighthearted kid's movie, and I wouldn't take young children to it. Not because it's inappropriate, because it isn't, but rather because adventure and fantasy are not used here to simply entertain. Rather, they purposefully and honestly dissect the broad spectrum of young feelings: fear, love, embarrassment, joy, loneliness, belonging, fun, rejection, and the sheer exhilaration of physical play. The film's Max learns, through his experiences, to make sense both of his own feelings as well as his mother's experience. He gains a taste of what it means to grow up and to be responsible for the welfare of others, and just how taxing (and rewarding) that can be. Ironically, while Max comes to comprehend adulthood, adult viewers are reminded of what it really means to be a child. While based on a book for young children, the film version seems more appropriate for adults and older kids looking to understand each other while being wowed by impressive fantasy.

And it is impressive. The artistry of this film is simply stunning. While many family movies rely too heavily on special effects, Where the Wild Things Are was wisely shot in real forests, with its young actor interacting with real Wild Things (which is to say, real-life actors in large animatronic suits as opposed to computer-generated beasts). While it is true that a giant fort and the Wild Things' faces are CGI, these visual effects are integrated seamlessly, giving the film has an organic quality. Wild Things approximates the blurry line between imagination and reality experienced by kids. The handheld (but not shaky) camerawork adds to the earthy realism, and some of the warm autumn colors captured during moments of sunrise and sunset are gorgeous to behold. The Wild Things themselves are always fun to look at, and the technical wizardry in their design deserves an Academy Award.

Young actor Max Records is movingly real; he never seems to be acting and never appears to be coached by a director). He simply conveys what it is to be a nine year-old. The vocal work for the Wild Things is top-notch, and despite the movie's often melancholy tone, there are moments of great humor and genuine wonder. Though Where The Wild Things Are ultimately has a good deal of warmth, heart, and soul, this is a bittersweet tale with profound themes whose sadder moments will likely alienate those just looking for a good time, as will the time it spends on introspection. Younger children, as well as those seeking pure entertainment, may find themselves bored and restless. For those up for the challenge, however, it is a fine family film that doesn't insult one's intelligence.
January 7, 2017
This movie won me over when one of the monsters lost a limb and was filled with sand!
December 30, 2016
Based on, or more accurately, "inspired by" the children's picture book of the same name, Spike Jonze's idea of "Where the Wild Things Are" is a lot like its titular characters - greatly intimidating, but also very warm and emotional deep down.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2016
Spike Jonze's auteurish adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book is dark, visually haunting and more adult in tone than the original story, taking us on a melancholy journey into a kid's inner self where his wild things are.
December 1, 2016
This is a failure. The source material is so fascinating and should have been great as a film, but this should have been no longer than half an hour for the plot it had. Jonze did show the material accurately (children's retreats into their imagination to purge their wildness in order to learn to be civilized), but who knew children's imaginations were so boring and dragged out. Not me.
It was good, just was an hour + too long. Such a shame. Good effects though.
November 25, 2016
Where the Wild Things Are holds beautifully designed bleak images in a mesmerizing sleepy world, but the story is rather disturbing and vicious for a child's story that touches upon the inner demons children have inside them.
November 19, 2016
Now when I was about 5 I saw this movie and thought it was pretty bad but now that I have grown up I can realize that this is a masterpiece.
November 18, 2016
Saw this on 16/11/16
It's never too boring, but there's hardly any story in it nor can one find any satisfaction after watching it. The film's biggest drawback is that it fails to tell you why it exists, it seems to have no purpose.
November 12, 2016
This movie is very sad. Not for the faint hearted. Not suitable for pre bedtime viewing for the young at heart
½ October 2, 2016
Had potential but never fulfilled and left me bored.
½ September 24, 2016
Imaginative with incredible animations, but the film is actually rather dark for a children's movie...overall 2.5 Stars
September 8, 2016
Where the Wild Things Are is a beautifully told story featuring a troubled boy who runs away from his family and stumbles across odd and strangely charming creatures. I read the source material only once as a child and I honestly didn't remember much from it, but the film did an excellent job of being heartfelt and not too corny at the same time. I absolutely loved the visuals in this one, they were all unique and very well done. The acting was superb, espically from the boy, Max. I think audiences might have had a hard time accepting this one as easily as the critics did because the film takes itself much more seriously than any film based off a children's book really should, but I found it to be both fascinating and uncompromisingly blunt in its overall message. Filled with heartwarming moments, and a simple, yet strong story at its core, Where the Wild Things Are is a film I am glad I saw.
September 8, 2016
I only saw part of it and did not enjoy this movie I was bored with it. I like the book better not the movie
½ August 29, 2016
A multi-layered movie from the extremely talented Spike Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are is a bleak yet beautiful portrait of many different themes that may, in the end, resonate with adults more than children (and I mean this in a good way).
½ August 9, 2016
"Where the Wild" has a very striking beginning, not only for those who has a child alone, but also so that was a brother or older sister who neglected her brother or father who can not give the necessary attention to child (a), it really grabs the viewer, much also for the great performance of Max Records, we all knew that the film it was not solely that, but he had an adventure behind, although at some point the message that the film passes is confused, Spike Jonze script is linear, photography of the film is great, as the characterizations of the monsters as fear and at the same time not really are great, as the soundtrack is also good mixing children's songs the melancholic, "Where the Wild Things are" is a film average to good, but it is beautiful to see, shows the world's view of a child without friends, about friendship, about the importance of family residence, and technically it it is also good (do not understand why there are so many negative reviews), is not a children's film is a film for you help learn how to interpret all the feelings that they have, do not watch "Where the monsters live" hoping to have a cinematic experience or a life lesson, watch for fun and have a different view about people, their relationships and the world.

Forgive my English by google translator.
July 23, 2016
A beautifully done adaptation of a whimsical children's book. A children's movie that touches on the tougher parts of childhood
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