Booklicious: Maurice Sendak is a Grumpy Old Man

November 03, 2009


In a recent interview with Newsweek magazine, Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are, revealed he has little patience for over-cautious parents and easily frightened children. When asked what he would say to parents who thought the new film version of his book too scary, he answered, "I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate." Sendak added, "If [kids] can't handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like."

He also attacked Disney, describing it as being "terrible for children." A Mickey Mouse fan in childhood, Sendak recalled the early version of the iconic character as "the emblem of happiness and funniness. When Mickey Mouse came on the screen ... I stood on the chair screaming, 'My hero! My hero!'" The early Mickey had teeth and a a mean streak, which appealed to Sendak. "He was more dangerous," the author explained. "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 of the Newsweek interview can be read here


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