The Wild Thing is a fictional creature from Where the Wild Things Are, a 1963 children's picture book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. In the book, Wild Things are malicious beasts who inhabit an island where a young boy named Max, after sailing there, intimidates them and is hailed as their king. The book has sold over 19 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into a live-action feature film.
The Wild Thing was one of three new balloons in the 1998 Macy's Parade, the other two being Babe the Pig and the titular boy-genius from Dexter's Laboratory). But he never made it onto the route after his left arm was ripped by a tree at the start of the parade. Although the balloon sustained only one puncture, it was too damaged to fly, and had to be removed from the parade altogether. He did not return in the 1999 parade after the accident.
However, Wild Thing made a surprise return in 2002 and managed to withstand the route and return again in 2003. After that, he was retired.