Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by:

Spike Jonze


Max Records as Max; Catherine Keener as Mom; Mark Ruffalo as The Boyfriend; Voices of James Gandolfini as Carol; Paul Dano as Alexander; Catherine O'Hara as Judith; Forest Whitaker as Ira; Michael Berry Jr. as The Bull; Chris Cooper as Douglas; Lauren Ambrose as KW

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Where the Wild Things Are

Meet Max. He's a 9-year-old explorer who torments the family dog, digs igloos, commands imaginary foot soldiers and enjoys a good snowball fight. But his world is not perfect. Max’s dad is rarely part of the picture. And when Max's feelings are hurt by his older sister, Claire, and her rougher teenage friends, Max’s mother can't give him the attention he needs. Max lashes out, biting his mom and fleeing to a wooded lake. There his imagination sends him on a dangerous, overseas journey to a mysterious island Where the Wild Things Are.

The faraway land is home to seven enormous, wild creatures: Carol, their short-tempered leader; Douglas, a levelheaded bird; Judith, a bossy "downer"; Ira, Judith's laidback boyfriend; Alexander, a meek goat; the silent Bull; and KW, a sensitive female beast who thinks about leaving this crazy clan. And though the creatures threaten to eat Max, his daring calms the fearsome group. His sense of adventure and optimism even brings them together as a happy family again for a while.

So the Wild Things crown Max as their king. But the moody beasts also put their hope in Max's ability to make them happy—with un-happy results. Still, Max figures out how to tackle his feelings and show love to his new "family." And eventually he does that in his real world, too.

Though Max's mom is stressed, she loves Max deeply and tries to do what's best for him. In turn, Max loves his mom and, when his emotions are in check, tries to comfort her. Wild Things shows the natural results of jealousy, unkind words, tantrums and rough play. Both Max and the wild creatures learn self-control and eventually understand and appreciate each another.

Where the Wild Things Are includes kissing, as well as some bad words and misuses of God’s name. A few scenes could frighten young viewers, and Max’s disrespect is shocking until he changes.

Unlike the beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, the movie will appeal more to adults than children. The story shows that we can always choose to not let anger or hurt separate us from our loves ones.

Copyright © 2009 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com