I keep hearing about Maurice Sendak telling parents they can go to hell if they're worried about Where the Wild Things Are being too scary. All kinds of hub-bub about this...I've even seen a mommy blogger calling for a boycott. Here's the quote in question:
Asked, "What do you say to parents who think the 'Wild Things' film may be too scary?" the Post said Sendak replied: "I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate ... If they can't handle it, go home ... Do whatever you like, but it's not a question that can be answered."
You know what I have to say about that?
GOOD FOR HIM!
People, do NOT ask artists to dumb things down to protect your precious snowflake's delicate sensibilities. This is where the "parenting" part of your job comes in. If your kid is going to be scared, don't take them or wait for the DVD so you don't waste the money. If you take them anyway and are surprised to find out they are scared...it's not Maurice Sendak's problem. It just sucks to be you that night. It happens.
A big part of any type of art is the emotion it elicits. A big part of childhood is feeling the thrill of emotions--including fear. Yeah, scared kids suck. I spent 4 years without seeing a fireworks display because they made Big Kid absolutely nuts. Was I confronting Disney World about finding a quieter, less frightening way to end their evenings? No, I hid huddled in hallways with both hands over a wide-eyed Big Kid's ears. And it sucked.
So, good for Maurice Sendak! I think it only increases his awesomeness. It was a dumb question in the first place...making sure your kids aren't frightened is not his job. His job was to create a movie following the same vision that inspired the book. Which was supposed to feel a little scary.
And if you don't like it, you can go to hell.