Where The Wild Things Are Not – Movie Review

I grew up with the book Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. As a child, it was one of my favorite books because the character Max was like me in so many ways. Most who knew me as a child remember me as quite a “wild thing”. That said, I was very excited to see a movie rendition of such a beloved book.

However, I had wondered, when I saw that they were making a movie from the book, how they would take such a short book and make a feature length film out of it that could actually hold its own.

The answer is that they couldn’t.

While I felt that the movie version of Where The Wild Things Are had wonderful visual imagery, and I thought the character of Max was played to perfection. I felt like I could really relate to Max. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save the movie, and my positive comments end here.

Overall, this movie felt empty. While I couldn’t help but smile at some of the scenes, not once did it really pull me into the story. There really wasn’t much of a story to get pulled into. I’m afraid 48 pages does not translate well into an hour and a half worth of movie.

For parents looking to take their children to see it, I’ll say this: This really wasn’t a movie that most kids would enjoy.

It was very slow paced, with a lot of somber emotional scenes and sometimes violent tension between characters. More than half the audience in the theater with us were children, and I heard very little laughter, not to mention quite a few comments like “why did they do that” or “this isn’t like the book”. A few parents and kids even walked out part way through the movie.

It did, however, have the effect a bedtime story should…a number of people, adults and children, fell asleep 🙂

While it was nice to see a visual representation of what I had so often pictured in my mind as a child, I won’t be seeing it again. If you watch the trailer for the movie, you will have already seen every part of it worth watching. On that note, here is the trailer:


4 thoughts on “Where The Wild Things Are Not – Movie Review”

  1. Haha, I just posted my own review and it’s pretty much the complete opposite! I totally connected with Max. On second viewing I’d probably agree with many of the things you said, but the first time through I loved it.

    There was a little girl next to me though asking her dad why EVERYTHING was happening–Why is he mad? Why is he crying? Why did he break that? Why are the going to eat him? I felt sorry for the dad who probably thought he was taking his daughter to a movie with silly, cuddly creatures, and got this moody piece of work. Oh well, to each their own.

  2. I totally agree with the review. I just left the movie where the wild things are, and it was a book that I grew up with, and my son also grew up, and we really were excited to see the movie because the book was a classic.

    Unfortunately the movie was horrible, the whole story was wrong, and sad, and not enjoyable at all. We left half way through and I wanted my money back 🙁

    This is a travesty! The movie was awful, and I don’t understand why it had to be so depressing and horrible. The whole idea behind the book was that he learned that being a wild thing was not such a good idea.This movie brought today’s world to a book that was not meant to translate to the horrible world, of single mothers, dating, and sibling rivalry. Max in the book did not have a sister and he had both parents.

    This movie was depressing and sad, and it is to bad that it will probably go on and win awards…
    it should be taken out of circulation, and never viewed again.

  3. I think Spike Jonze missed out on a great opportunity to make something that would be meaningful to adults and children alike; almost the entire movie seemed like nonsense to me

  4. This movie was so sad. I think the theatres need to sell porzac instead of popcorn for this movie! When we left the theatre all the people around us looked as sad a the Wild Things.
    Nothing was resolved at the end. You leave with a feeling that life sucks and no one can fix it. Most everyone is depressed, over sensitive and inconsiderate in the movie. My 13 and 8 year old sons thought is was the worst movie they had ever seen.

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