[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wildthings.jpg]]

->''"Let the wild rumpus start!"''

''Where the Wild Things Are'' is a children's book by late Maurice Sendak. [[VindicatedByHistory It was originally panned by critics, but has since become a beloved classic]].

In the book, Max is an angry little boy in a wolf costume who can't control his emotions and is sent to his room. There he is ([[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane depending on your interpretation]]) transported to/imagines a world populated by semi-feral monsters and is crowned their king because of his wild emotions. At first happy, he eventually grows tired of acting like a wild animal and goes back home.

There are two film adaptations, the more recent one directed by Creator/SpikeJonze of ''Film/BeingJohnMalkovich'' fame with a soundtrack by [[Music/YeahYeahYeahs Karen O]].

In the Spike Jonze film, Max is an angry little boy in a wolf costume who is very intelligent and resents that his sister feels too old to spend time with him and that his mother's life is too busy to give him the attention he desires. This causes a conflict that ends with him running away to an island populated by semi-feral monsters who crown him king out of a need for someone to take care of them and their emotional needs. Unlike in the book, the monsters all have their individual characteristics and personalities that are usually in some way a reflection of portions of Max's personality. Although Max tries his best, eventually he realizes he loves the monsters but cannot be the leader or parent they need and returns home to his mother with a better appreciation of what she goes through. Most of the following tropes will deal with the film version (see AdaptationExpansion).

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* ABoyAndHisX: A Boy and His Tribe of Monsters.
* MixAndMatchCritters: All of the monsters.
* SceneryPorn: Both the original's illustrations and the film has this a lot.
* ShoutOut: Not an example within the book/movie itself, but it was given multiple shout outs in Alt-J's song Breezeblocks (to the point where the entire bridge goes "please don't go, I'll eat you whole, I love you so.")

!!!Specific to the book:

* NoNameGiven: All of the monsters. Sendak had names that never appeared in the book for some of them -- Tzippy, Aaron, Moishe, Bruno, Emile, Bernard -- but never gave a name to the goat in the books or art (he's just referred to as Goat Boy).

!!!Specific to the film:

* AdaptationDistillation: Three of the monsters from the book (counting the sea monster) do not appear in the movie. The seven they use are quite enough.
* AdaptationExpansion: Pretty much required, as the original book was '''''10 sentences long'''''.
* AlphaBitch: Judith.
* BerserkButton: Mention any idea you have to Carol that could ''imply'' breaking up the clan of monsters, and may God have mercy on your soul!
** Also, no matter what you do, ''do not'' lie to him. He will take it badly. ''Really'' badly.
* BigBrotherBully: [[spoiler: Carol towards the rest of the Wild Things. It becomes clear towards the end of the film that he's exactly the kind of person Max will become if he doesn't try to fix his problems; a self-centered, bitter MoodSwinger who's bursts of violence and abuse bring harm to his family.]]
* BittersweetEnding
* BlatantLies: Max's claims of being a king. [[spoiler: Unsurprisingly it turns out that pretty much all of the monsters had him figured out from the get go.]]
* BodyHorror: See OnlyAFleshWound
* ButNowIMustGo
* ButtMonkey: Alexander, the one whom no one cares about.
* {{Calvinball}}: All the games Max comes up with.
* ChaoticStupid: Max's incident with his mother.
* TheChewToy: Douglas, who is okay with being thrown around ([[GrievousHarmWithABody literally]]). [[CrossesTheLineTwice It's hilarious.]] [[spoiler: His arm getting ripped off? Not so much.]]
* CoolBigSis: KW. Formerly Max's older sister, Claire.
* ComingOfAgeStory
* DeadpanSnarker: Judith
* EasilyForgiven: Carol. For damn near everything, including [[spoiler: pulling Douglas's arm off]].
* EmpathicEnvironment: In one of the many [[TearJerker sad moments]] in the film, snow begins to fall slowly.
* FakeUltimateHero
* FamilyOfChoice: The Wild Things. Lampshaded by Carol.
* GenreSavvy: Douglas shows Carol what's up [[spoiler: and gets his arm ripped off for it]].
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Ira is obviously trying to neck Judith in one scene.
* GrowingUpSucks: Though really the film is more like "change in general is scary and can suck," than just growing up.
* IntelligibleUnintelligible: Bob and Terry. To Max and Carol, they are simply TheUnintelligible.
* IronicEcho: In the beginning of the movie, Max runs away from home after his mom says he was out of control after he bit her. By the end, Max says that [[spoiler: Carol]] is out of control after [[spoiler: Carol ripped off Douglas' arm]], Max then proceeds to run away from [[spoiler: an enraged Carol]]. And the same music plays both times!
** And later, [[spoiler:when KW is hiding Max from Carol]], even ''she'' tells Carol that he's out of control.
* JitterCam: The movie is more or less shot by someone really hopped up on Red Bull.
* KidsAreCruel: Max at the start.
* LetsMeetTheMeat: "Hello, Richard."
* LogoJoke: Each of the logos are static, and have apparently been drawn on by Max. The WB logo has a "wild thing" sort of shape drawn around it, with Max scribbling over the Time Warner byline and replacing it with his name. The Legendary Pictures logo has Max drawing a monster eating it. The Village Roadshow logo has Max turning the logo into his own name, with the "V" becoming an upside down "A", and a crude sword along the bottom of the logo.
* MamaBear: KW
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane
* MoodSwinger: Carol, and, to a lesser extent, all of the wild things.
* MoodWhiplash: Goes from [[RuleOfFunny being funny]] to being serious to being sort of creepy to [[TearJerker being sad]]. Several times.
* MrViceGuy: Max, and ALL of the Wild Things with the vice being raging emotions.
* MythologyGag: Perhaps not intentional, but Alexander's character was the only one who didn't get a nickname from the writer. In the movie, he's ignored by everyone to the point where he might as well not exist.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer for the 2009 film pretty much shows Max having fun/goofy adventures with the titular Wild Things. The actual film, however, is pretty depressing.
* NoNameGiven: The bison/bull in the movie. Bernard, per the credits and one brief line.
* OnlyAFleshWound: "That was my favorite arm."
* OnlySaneMan: The Monsters' voice of reason is Alexander. Too bad nobody ever listens to him.
** KW is pretty reasonable too, though she's disassociated with the rest.
* ParentsAsPeople
* PopStarComposer: Karen O of the YeahYeahYeahs wrote the score for the film.
* TheQuietOne: Bernard.
* RealityEnsues: [[spoiler: The ending makes it clear that pretty much all of the Wild Things aside from Carol, Judith, and Ira figured out Max was lying about being a king. And those three were simply in denial. Douglas and Alexander admit that they both knew he was lying from the start and only went along with it because they saw how happy it made Carol.]]
* SadistTeacher: Max's class on astronomy drifts off into a discussion on how everything is going to die, and a list of all the ways all of humanity could be wiped out, delivered cheerfully obliviously to a class of 9-year-olds.
* ShoutOut:
** Max's mom also has a phone conversation with a "Mr. Lasseter". Back in the 80s [[{{Pixar}} John Lasseter]] attempted to make a WTWTA movie with Disney. It would have been one of the earliest examples of CGI in film, featuring traditionally animated characters in 3D CGI environments.
** There's a scene where Max is being shown his "kingdom", which is a pretty obvious reference to Disney/TheLionKing. Some of the dialogue is very similar to that scene, as well.
* SnowballFight: And dirtclod fight!
* SomeCallMeTim: The monsters are Carol, Ira, KW, Judith, Douglas, Alexander, and Bernard.
* StepfordSmiler: The Wild Things in general but especially [[spoiler: Carol. KW flat out tells Max that life on the island gets difficult but the others are in denial over it.]]
* SwallowedWhole: [[spoiler: When KW swallows Max so he can hide from Carol.]]
* TeensAreMonsters: Downplayed. Claire's friends don't wreck Max's snow fort out of malice but out of playing too hard for the smaller kid. They even look genuinely upset when they realize what they've done -- but are much too self-conscious to apologize.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Both the female wild things have long hair.
* TroubledAbuser: [[spoiler: Carol]].
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler: Carol towards the end.]]
* WatchingTheSunset
* WhamLine: "Just don't ever let Carol find out". At that moment, you just ''know'' what's going to happen next.
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