Where the Wild Things Are

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Product Overview

An adaptation of maurice sendak's classic children's story, where max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown max as their ruler.


Studio Warner
SKU 213822132
UPC 085391189930
UPC 14 00085391189930
Format DVD
Release Date 1/31/2012
Rating Rating
Family (General)
Family Interaction
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Maurice Sendak's kiddie lit classic gets a live-action adaptation thanks to two of pop culture's most creative minds. Director Spike Jonze (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH) collaborates with bestselling author Dave Eggers (A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS) on the script for this story about a young boy named Max who spends time in the company of monsters.
Film Comment "The spare, starlit desert/forest/ocean imagery of Sendak's drawings is lovingly, even painstakingly preserved, and just as lovingly and painstakingly sifted into the action so that it never draws attention to itself as an effect per se." 09/01/2009
Rolling Stone "Spike Jonze is just the visionary talent to nurture Sendak's tale of a boy who creates a fantasy world full of wild things that embody his own fears bout the real one." 09/17/2009 ,4 stars out of 4 -- "[A] visual and emotional tour de force....The brilliant songs, by Karen O and the Kids, enhance the film's power to pull you in..." 10/29/2009 ,Ranked #6 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2009" -- "All the joy and misplaced rage that goes into being a kid is in this movie." 12/24/2009
USA Today 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is a fiercely innovative film with surprising texture and nuance. It captures the joy and exuberance of childhood without shying away from its very real pains and woes." 10/16/2009
New York Times "[A] beautiful adaptation of the Maurice Sendak children's book....[An] intensely original and haunting movie..." 10/14/2009
Chicago Sun-Times 3 stars out of 4 -- "The voice actors and the f/x artists give their fantastical characters personality.... 10/14/2009
Box Office 4 stars out of 5 -- "Jonze not only remembers the emotions of youth, he makes us feel them....WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is so patient and non-judgmental that you're welcome to simply bliss out on the visuals." 10/12/2009
Wall Street Journal "Like the hero of the book, this Max projects a fantasy world from his yearnings, fear and anger. But the movie invests those projections with such intense and genuine wildness as to make their creator a veritable Wizard of Id." 10/16/2009
Variety "Fleet of foot, emotionally attuned to its subject and instinctively faithful to its celebrated source, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE earns a lot of points for its hand-crafted look..." 10/11/2009
A.V. Club "Whether the action is grand and exciting...or simple and human....it all feels genuine to the actual experience of childhood in ways that children's movies generally don't." -- Grade: A- 10/15/2009
Entertainment Weekly "Spike Jonze not only respects the original text but also honors movie lovers with the same clarity of vision. This is one of the year's best." 10/23/2009 ,Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "[T]he filmmaker is in perfect harmony with the same wild things Sendak first identified for wise children over 45 years ago." 12/25/2009
Washington Post "[A] film that manages to create its own reality and meaning, even while it bring's Sendak's visual world to life with startling accuracy." 10/16/2009
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Jonze] reminds us that the simple pleasure of childhood is running around and screaming with abandon." 12/07/2009
Premiere "On a technical level, this movie is simply brilliant. The boots-on-the-ground/documentary feel mixes nearly perfect cinematography with real cool monsters in giant suits." 03/01/2010
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a childlike sense of awe, rage, delight and dislocation....It's true to Sendak's spirit and the night Max wore his wolf suit..." 06/01/2010
Spike Jonze
Mark Ruffalo
Catherine Keener
Max Records
Cast & Crew
Mark Ruffalo - Star
Catherine Keener - Star
Max Records - Star
Maurice Sendak - Producer
James Gandolfini - Voice
Jon Jashni - Executive Producer
Karen O - Composer
Carter Burwell - Composer
Paul Dano - Voice
Lance Acord - Director of Photography
Lauren Ambrose - Voice
Dave Eggers - Screenwriter
Maurice Sendak - Source Writer
Bruce Berman - Executive Producer
Vincent Landay - Producer
Catherine O'Hara - Voice
Spike Jonze - Screenwriter
John B. Carls - Producer
Thomas Tull - Executive Producer
Gary Goetzman - Producer
Tom Hanks - Producer
Forest Whitaker - Voice
Spike Jonze - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2009
UPC 00085391189930
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 101 minutes
Color Color
Golden Globe (2010) Carter Burwell, Karen Orzolek, Nominee, Best Original Score - Motion Picture
ReviewSource Washington Post
Review There are few movies this season more hotly anticipated than Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beloved children's book. That 1963 picture book -- about a boy named Max who is sent to his room without supper and then embarks on a journey to the far reaches of his imagination -- accomplished in a handful of sentences what novelists struggle to achieve in hundreds of pages. It provided a screen onto which readers of every age could project their own realities. It made space for parents and children to acknowledge their deepest anxieties. It created a world...That creation, like every other visual flourish and detail in Where the Wild Things Are, is flawless, a meticulously conceived amalgamation of the organic and the surreal that completely captures the austere cross-hatched detail and half-toned color scheme of Sendak's original drawings. Coupled with a hip, lushly emotional score by Carter Burwell and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O, the production design plunges filmgoers into an altogether convincing world of both earthy realism and lyrical escapism. (Piling reality on top of surreality, Jonze occasionally injects real creatures into the magical proceedings, such as when a birdlike creature named Douglas cradles a real-life kitty cat, or Max and Carol happen upon an enormous dog.)...As cherished as Sendak's book is by generations of parents and children, it's hard to call Where the Wild Things Are a family movie -- unless the family in question happens to dig poetic, elliptical films that plumb the depths of separation, loss and forgiveness. Some viewers will no doubt be put off by Jonze's more digressive departures from the text, his psychological emphasis, his focus on dysfunction and real-world dramas. But plenty of filmgoers, packaged in a nuclear unit or not, will appreciate the sheer artistry, ambition and integrity with which Jonze has tackled a nearly impossible cinematic mission...So, a desecration? Far from it. A work of art? No question. In elaborating on the original book so boldly, and repopulating it so richly, Jonze has protected Where the Wild Things Are as an inviolable literary work. In preserving its darkest spirit, he's created a potent, fully realized variation on its most highly charged themes. Most important of all, he's achieved with the cinematic medium what Sendak did with words and pictures: He's grasped something true and terrifying about love at its most unconditional and voracious.
Reviewer Ann Hornaday
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource USA Today
Review Movies don't often allow unruly children a full palette of emotions...In Where the Wild things Are, a confusing jumble of feelings course through 9-year-old Max, making for a movie of surprising depth, poignancy and energy. He may rush headlong in his wolf costume, howling and leaping about, but Max is not just a wild child. He is creative, empathic and alienated...It's a pleasure to see director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), in collaboration with screenwriter Dave Eggers (Away We Go), take Max seriously. Purist fans of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book will have to set aside expectations to fully embrace the film version. But they should embrace it...Though it certainly honors the book, the film uses it mostly as a jumping-off point for a story about childhood in all its complexities. In Sendak's story, disobedient Max is sent to bed without supper, and the author creates an alternate universe in which the child escapes to a wilderness inhabited by ferocious but lovable creatures that make him their king...In the movie, we see what prompts Max to pitch a fit, and we feel for him. He is crushed when his teenage sister's friends trample his homemade igloo sanctuary. He feels cast aside when his single mother works long hours and gets distracted by a suitor...Eggers has said he and Jonze wanted to avoid depicting Max as so many movie kids are shown: "de-fanged." Max certainly has fangs -- and he's not afraid to use them...The uneven pacing and tone are stirring, blending melancholy with boisterous fun. When you think about it, those polarities best capture the most indelible images of anyone's childhood -- those which hurt or frighten, and those which thrill...Following his tantrum, Max storms off, sets sail in a tiny boat and lands on the island with the odd-looking, rampaging beasts. He befriends them and they prove to be as endearing, funny and sometimes gloomy as Max himself. Still clad in his increasingly bedraggled wolf suit, he incites riotous fun...Visually, the 9?-foot-tall Wild Things are a seamless blend of giant puppets and computer-generated images...Jonze's handheld style lends an intriguing immediacy to the dreamscapes. Like the book, the movie blends a primitive quality with an imaginative artfulness. It also amplifies upon the story's gentle, sly wit...Where the Wild Things Are is a fiercely innovative film with surprising texture and nuance. It captures the joy and exuberance of childhood without shying away from its very real pains and woes.
Reviewer Claudia Puig
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly Wild Things is one of the year's best.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine Jonze has filmed a fantasy as if it were absolutely real, allowing us to see the world as Max sees it, full of beauty and terror.
Scott Foundas, LA Weekly What Spike Jonze ended up with strikes me as one of the most empathic and psychologically acute of all movies about childhood -- a Wizard of Oz for the dysfunctional-family era.

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