Where the Wild Things Are

"Excellent"

Where the Wild Things Are Review


Jonze's inventive approach to Maurice Sendak's classic children's book continually confounds our expectations with an approach that's so offhanded and fresh that it might feel awkward or strange. But it's a real grower.

Max (Records) is a mischievous, imaginative pre-teen with a dismissive big sister (Emmerichs) and an understanding mum (Keener). But a series of events get him thinking about the fragility of life, so he takes a flight of fantasy to a distant island populated by furry creatures who at first threaten to eat him but then adopt him as their king. Playful games ensue, as he leads them in the construction of a giant fortress. But even here, relationships become tricky to navigate.

Jonze creates a relaxed, natural atmosphere as seen through Max's childish perspective. This continues seamlessly from the real world across a vast sea to the island of the wild things, which of course represent his internal turmoil.

He immediately befriends the lively, sensitive Carol (voiced by Gandolfini), whose strained relationship with the more adventurous KW (Ambrose) begins to define Max's experience. There's also the busy bird-like Douglas (Cooper), the anxious goat-like Alexander (Dano), the acerbic Judith (O'Hara) and her patient sidekick Ira (Whitaker).

These creatures are a terrific combination of vibrant voice work, superb design (by the Jim Henson company), raw physical performance and remarkably subtle effects. Tiny details make them thoroughly real--small attitudes, flickers of emotion, physical traits like Carol's perpetually runny nose. And the film's full of boyish energy, as Max builds forts, initiates dirt-clod fights and wrestles raucously with his pals. But what makes this grab hold is the way it so sharply captures how tempers flare, feelings are hurt and relationships are strained.

Yes, Max is learning that he's not the only person on earth; he needs to think about other people and face the scary prospect of growing up. Jonze puts this together in such an unexpected way that it really catches our imagination. His filmmaking might be a bit startling at first, but this film deserves to become a perennial classic that challenges us all to find the fears inside of us and overcome them.



Where the Wild Things Are

Facts and Figures

Genre: Kids/Family

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th October 2009

Box Office USA: $77.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $99.8M

Budget: $115M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Playtone, Wild Things Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 184 Rotten: 70

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: John B. Carls, , , , Maurice Sendak

Starring: as Max, as Connie, as KW (voice), as Carol (voice), as Judith (voice), as Ira (voice), as Connie's boyfriend, Pepita Emmerichs as Claire, Max Pfeiffer as Claire's Friend, Madeleine Greaves as Claire's Friend, Joshua Jay as Claire's Friend, Steve Mouzakis as Teacher, as Alexander (voice), Michael Berry Jr. as The Bull (voice), as Douglas (voice), Ryan Corr as Claire's Friend

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.