Thursday, 22 October 2009

Wild thing, I think I love you

Hot on the heels of Nige unmasking Roald Dahl's full nastiness - a nastiness, it has to be said, very much welcomed by his fans - comes this. Maurice Sendak (below, and scary) appears to be vying with Dahl for the title of Most Misanthropic Children's Author Who Couldn't Give a Shit Anyway.

To the people complaining that the new film of Where the Wild Things Are is too scary for children:
"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."

He also bemoans the fact that Disney ("terrible") de-fanged the early Mickey Mouse (literally, too: he apparently used to sport a set of teeth):
"He was more dangerous...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... I despised him after a point"

What a mensch!


Brit said...

All the best children's characters are horrible bastards... Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, Eric Cartman...

worm said...

good on him I say! the world needs less feeble people

Gadjo Dilo said...

I can't say I ever found anything to enjoy in Walt Disney, whereas Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry were at least honest enough to remind us that nature is red in tooth and claw. Eric Cartman is a one-boy cautionary tale.

Gaw said...

I couldn't agree more about Mickey Mouse being a boring bastard. Never liked him as a child either.

However, I would draw the line at his being a wife-beater, which, from Sendak's testimony, sounds as if it was a possibility in the early days.

Kids love a bit of violence but only when perpetrated against legitimate targets.

Nige said...

Bravo Sendak - a mensch, and a flaming genius to boot. Good to know he's still alive and kicking - and kicking the right things. Disney's awfull insipid pap - even the movements are somehow cloying - give me Looney Tunes any time.

Gaw said...

The Disney monolith is pretty horrible I agree. But some individual Disney films - which I've got to watch again recently because of having kids - are really quite beautifully made.

Some highlights have been truly great: Jungle Book's terrific songs and extraordinary colour palate, 101 Dalmations' lovely scribbly backdrops (Primrose Hill looks brilliant) and gothic baddies, Lady and the Tramp's general sweetness and story which captures children and just doesn't let them go.

I'd bet these will last and last and in a hundred years time will be looked back on as minor cultural gems of our time. (Crumbs).