Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maurice Sendak tells parents worried by Wild Things to 'go to hell'
Children's author gives short shrift to concerns that Where the Wild Things Are is too frightening for children

Alison Flood,, Tuesday 20 October 2009

Maurice Sendak pictured at the film premiere of Where the Wild Things Are in New York. Photograph: Stuart Ramson/AP

Telling the story of a naughty little boy, Max, who is sent to bed without his supper only to journey by boat to a land where wild monsters live, Sendak's classic tale was first published in 1963 and has captured children's imaginations ever since. With a film version adapted by Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze out later this year, Sendak told this week's edition of Newsweek that he would "not tolerate" parental concerns about the book being too scary.
"I would tell them to go to hell," Sendak said. And if children can't handle the story, they should "go home," he added. "Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it's not a question that can be answered."
Sendak also criticised Disney, saying it was "terrible" for children. As a child himself, he'd loved Mickey Mouse as "the emblem of happiness and funniness", and at the cinema he would stand on the chair screaming "My hero! My hero!" at the mouse – who at that point still had teeth. "He was more dangerous," the author told Newsweek. "He did things to Minnie that were not nice. I think what happened was that he became so popular – this is my own theory – they gave his cruelty and his toughness to Donald Duck. And they made Mickey a fat nothing. He's too important for products. They want him to be placid and nice and adorable. He turned into a schmaltzer. I despised him after a point."
The rest at The Guardian.

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