Names of the “Wild Things”: Alexander, Carol, Douglas, Ira, Judith

Portion of the cover of "Where the Wild Things Are"

Originally, the wild things were nameless. Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are (1963), told Newsweek he “never wanted them to have names.”

But in the movie, the wild things are called Alexander, Carol (male), Douglas, Ira and Judith. The names were chosen by director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Dave Eggers.

Do you like that the wild things now have names?

What names would you have chosen for them?


Image: Portion of the cover of Where the Wild Things Are

8 thoughts on “Names of the “Wild Things”: Alexander, Carol, Douglas, Ira, Judith

  1. Actually, Wikipedia states that the Wild Things have had names for quite a long time:

    The original concept for the book featured horses instead of monsters. According to Sendak, his publisher suggested the switch when she discovered that he could not draw horses, but thought that he “could at the very least draw ‘a thing’!”[2] He replaced the horses with caricatures of his aunts and uncles, whom he had studied critically in his youth as an escape from their weekly visits to his family’s Brooklyn home.[3] When working on the opera adaptation of the book with Oliver Knussen, Sendak gave the monsters the names of his relatives: Tzippy, Moishe, Bruno, Emile, and Bernard.[4]

    The dolls of the book are sold with those same names.

  2. Hi Uly,

    Sendak mentioned those names in the Newsweek interview. Here’s the full quote:

    I never wanted them to have names. When it was an opera and the director and I were working on it during rehearsal, we had to have names to tell them when they were screwing up. They had Jewish names: Moishe, Schmuel. You have to remember this is an English opera house. We were all speaking Yiddish. It was very funny. But the names were dropped after the opera. They never had names until they became movie stars.

  3. I’m not sure Sendak’s right hand knows what his left hand is doing, then, because I’ve definitely seen in stores stuffed animals of the monsters with the Yiddish names attached on tags.

  4. I love the original names.
    I loved the movie but,
    I was so freaking confused!!!
    And that was stupid they made new names.

  5. 1. You forgot KW and Daniel

    2. In the original book, they are Tzippy, Aaron, Moishe, “Goat Boy”, Bernard, Emile, and Bruno

    3. In my book, they are Hunter (KW), Henry (Alexander), Blake (Judith), Connor (Carol), Jay (Douglas), and Sorin (Daniel) and Ira’s not in there

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