Where the Wild Things Are – Movie Review

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Where The Wild Things Are

Starring Max Records, James Ganolfini, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, Michael Berry Jr. and Chris Cooper
Directed by Spike Jones

Rated: PG
Run Time: 101 mins
Genre: Family/ Adventure/ Drama/ Fantasy
3 frames out of 5

Monsters, wolves, dark woods… sounds like the makings of a Halloween movie, right? Or is it what lurks in the imagination of a rambunctious little boy that is a wild child?

Adapted from the children’s book by Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are tells the story of Max (Max Records) , a rebellious little boy that has a very active imagination. Adapted for modern days, Max is has a disagreement with his mother, bites her and then runs away.

Max sails away to an island that is inhabited by big hairy monsters. Monsters that at first sight are a mix between a Muppet, dirty hippie and troll. Max is intrigued by the creatures and after a short initiation process they crown Max as their king. Carol (James Gandolfini – voice) is the unofficial leader of the Wild Things. Rounding out the group is whiny Alexander (Paul Dano – voice), pessimistic Judith (Catherine O’Hara – voice), her love Ira (Forest Whitaker – voice), the group’s voice of reason, Douglas (Chris Cooper – voice), The Bull (Michael Berry Jr. – voice) and the free spirited K.W. (Lauren Ambrose- voice). The biggest problem on the island is that despite the camaraderie of the group, they all feel alone and misunderstood. Max is the glue that brings and holds them together for he is often misunderstood and feels alone due to his wild ways.

For a movie that is based on a children’s book, it wasn’t entirely child friendly. Some of the scenes may scare children under the age of 5 to the point of tears. The emotions that the monsters fluctuate between may be difficult for some kids to understand and may perplex adults. A narrator would have been helpful for those not familiar with the original story and some of the book’s charm is lost in translation from page to screen.

Things to watch for: Really cool forts made by the monsters.

Who should see this movie: Children over the age of 6 years old.

See it in the Theater or Rent it? Due to the emotional nature of this movie this is more of a DVD rental than an in-theater viewing.

About Lisa Minzey

Lisa Minzey is Editor in Chief of The Reel Critic.com. She has written for Phoenix Film Foundation, an online contributor for EW.com and is known to write a screenplay or 12. She's worked in Hollywood in various forms, but her first love is writing. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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