Is Where the Wild Things Are a Scary Movie?

If you were a child of the 90s or early 2000s, chances are you’ve read Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. And if you’re a parent now, you may have wondered whether the movie adaptation of this beloved story is appropriate for your kids.

After all, with its dark themes and shadowy visuals, it might seem like it’s more suited for adults than young children. But is that really the case Let’s take a closer look.

The Plot

Where the Wild Things Are tells the story of Max, a young boy who gets sent to his room without supper after misbehaving. In his room, he creates an imaginary world that allows him to escape from his mundane life. In this imaginary world, Max becomes the king of a group of creatures called “wild things” and embarks on all sorts of adventures with them.

The Visuals

One of the most striking things about Where the Wild Things Are is its visual style. Director Spike Jonze creates a dreamlike world that blends live-action and CGI in a way that feels both fantastical and grounded in reality.

The creatures themselves are simultaneously cute and creepy – they look like giant stuffed animals come to life. And because much of the movie takes place in darkness or dimly lit spaces, it can feel eerie at times.

The Themes

At its core, Where the Wild Things Are is about childhood angst and loneliness. Max feels misunderstood by his family and seeks solace in his imagination.

The wild things themselves are stand-ins for different aspects of Max’s personality – they represent his anger, his fear, and his desire for love and acceptance. While these themes may be heavy for some children to fully grasp, they’re also universal enough that most kids will be able to relate on some level.

The Bottom Line

So, is Where the Wild Things Are a scary movie It depends on your definition of “scary.” If you’re expecting jump scares and gore, you won’t find them here.

But if you’re sensitive to dark themes or easily frightened by eerie visuals, you may want to approach this movie with caution. That said, for most kids (and adults), Where the Wild Things Are is a thought-provoking and visually stunning film that offers a unique take on childhood fantasies and emotions.

  • Pros: Beautiful visuals, complex themes
  • Cons: May be too dark for some children

The Verdict

Ultimately, whether or not Where the Wild Things Are is appropriate for your child depends on their individual temperament and maturity level. For most kids over the age of 7 or so, it’s a great choice – it’s visually engaging, emotionally resonant, and thought-provoking without being overly frightening. Just be prepared to have some conversations about the deeper themes once the credits roll!