Where the Wild Things Are Movie Poster
  • Released
  • October 16, 2009
  • PG, 1 hr 41 min
  • Action/Adventure
  • Drama
  • 2,172 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that director Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are isn't appropriate for younger kids, even those who adore the book (there's a big difference between looking at a beautifully illustrated children's story and watching a live-action movie full of sights and sounds that will probably scare the average 4-year-old). The movie explores mature themes of loneliness, insecurity, and fear of change, both within Max's human family and the one he finds on his adventure. The island that Max lands on can be a scary and dark place, and the Wild Things themselves aren't above threatening (repeatedly) to eat Max, as well as becoming hot-headed and destructive (and when a Wild Thing gets destructive, it can be quite intense). The movie also has a slower, dreamier feel than many other kids' movies, and relationships and storylines aren't always neatly resolved. There's some mild language ("damn," "stupid") and a quick glimpse of Max's mom and her boyfriend drinking wine and kissing, but otherwise the PG rating is due mostly to Max's occasionally frightful time with the mysterious Wild Things.

  • Positive messages
  • Positive role models
  • Violence
  • Sexual
  • Language
  • Consumerism
  • Drinking & drugs
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st Century.