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YMMV / Where the Wild Things Are

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Either the monsters are Imaginary Friends of Max, or representations of his emotions and the people he lives with. Max himself can also be seen as a child with a personality disorder.
  • Awesome Music: The use of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” in the movie trailer prepares the audience for the surprising amount of Tear Jerker moments throughout the film.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • As Carol and Max were walking through the desert, Max sees a giant sheepdog in the distance. When asked about it, Carol responds, "Oh, It's that dog. Don't feed it, he'll just follow you around." The dog is never seen or mentioned again.
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    • Also, that one scene where Douglas is petting a cat.
    • "Hey Richard"
  • Broken Base: Audiences are very divided over the film adaptation’s Darker and Edgier tone, with some saying it works and others saying it was unnecessary.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Max and Carol.
    • Max, from what we can see, mostly lashes out because he hasn't learned to cope with his parents' divorce, however, while understandable, it doesn't excuse some of the things he does that makes life harder for everyone else
    • Like Max, Carol hasn't learned to live with change and genuinely wants good things but his tantrums aren't helping matters and, from what's implied, said tantrums (and him being kind of a bully) are the reason as to why KW spends less time around the other wild things. To top this off, at the end, he doesn't even get to make amends
  • Narm: Hearing Tony Soprano voicing Carol.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Carol ripping off Douglas's arm who starts bleeding sand.
    • Potentially lessened by the fact that none of the characters (including Douglas himself) react in a way that implies that Douglas is in pain and, if anything, he reacts more with annoyance. However, this could go the other way, and the disproportionate reaction might make it seem even *more* unsettling.
    • Also Carol trying to eat Max in a fit of rage.
    • Alexander warning Max not to tell Carol that he isn't a king.
  • Ugly Cute
  • Values Dissonance: Some have interpreted the film as being pro-imperialist, seeing as the white boy Max goes to a land of monsters and immediately becomes their king. Since the book was released in 1963, it's hard to fault it for this, though.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Wild Thing suits. The combination of CGI and animatronics is seamless.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Some people asked this very question about the 2009 movie.
    • Granted, Spike Jonze himself stated in an interview that it wasn't meant to be a kid's film, but a "film about childhood".
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    • Then again, Maurice Sendak has gone on record to state that the film is absolutely fine for kids "and anyone who doesn't like can go right to hell." So... there's that. Although, to be fair, the original was meant as a children's story, and Sendak has gotten more than his fair share of this trope, to the point that some teachers wanted to ban them.
  • The Woobie: Alexander. Arguably, the other wild things qualify as this, too, but he's the most obvious, as, throughout his time on the island, he's put down and ignored, thus he acts up to get attention (which, adding insult to injury, doesn't work) and, on top of this, Max doesn't even remember his name. It's not until he gets hurt that someone finally reaches out to him.


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