Friday, October 16, 2009

Maurice Sendak

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.

13 comments:

p jane said...

Woo! I saw Forrest Whitaker on Craig Ferguson (latelate!) last night talking about the movie, then the book and THEY both loved the book as kids and read it to their kids. Two grown men talking about it making them cry...awww! No mention made of fear because it's a story about monsters, people!

Sorry, rambling nonsese to say thanks for sharing that as I totally agree with Mr. Sendak (and you).

Samma said...

I totally agree! And Harry Potter lately scares the shit out of me, (I'm 28). However, that is a choice that parents have to take their kids or not. Geez.

Former Fat Chick said...

ha-ha snowflakes made me crack up! I agree, I still can't swim in a POOL at night becasue Jaws and all and I'm 37! oh, I love riding Jaws in Universal over and over just watch the little kids freak out. I might be sick.

LceeL said...

Somehow I missed "Where the Wild Things Are" when my boys were growing up. But I would have read it to them in a heartbeat. There's this certain blogging lady I met at BlogHer in July, and she has a tattoo of WTWTA across her entire upper back. It was the first I have ever even heard of it. I own the book now. And I love it.

Slack said...

Good grief! My momma was never that uppity.

edwin sanchez said...

It is not Israel has done nothing to bring peace. They have had peace with Egypt and Jordan for years now.

Jaka Merriman said...

Here here! Couldn't have said it better myself. Artists (of any medium) aren't responsible for policing your or your children's exposure to material - you are. Deal with it.

Chris R said...

My mother took me to the Exorcist when I was 9.

She also took me to movies many would consider soft-porn.

*memories...I wish I could relive my childhood.

Chris Brown said...

Good Im glad that they are doing this cool.

Anonymous said...

my big girl can't watch any movie. we had to leave wall-e with her in tears. there are two movies she has watched all the way through: mary poppins (she got scared when they danced on the roof) and cinderella.

guess we won't be watching where the wild things are.

Nikky said...

I was like that as a kid (Okay, I still can't watch scary movies), I was way hyper-semsitive to everything, scary or sad or whatever. I couldn't watch Alice in Wonderland because when she was in the forest sad I would bawl and feel bad for her for days. Don't get me started on the "Goodbye May Seem Forever..." bit in Fox and the Hound.

I still don't watch sad movies cause I dwell on them for days. The Green Mile with the dry sponge still makes me sad, and I only saw it once when it first came out.

But yea. I've never understood the whole "cater to me" thing people have for entertainers and artists and the like. Get over yourself.

Kenny and Chrissy said...

I get the feeling the movie is not for kids . . . it's for those of us who grew up with it as kids and have such wonderful memories of it now. My girl won't be seeing it for a few years, but when she does, I know she'll appreciate it.

Native Mom said...

All these overprotective parents need to get a life. I took my 10-year old daughter to see the Zombieland movie with her teenage brothers and sisters. Cause let's face it, growing up with zombie obsessed older brothers, she's already been exposed. She loved the movie and slept the peaceful sleep of a kid who hadn't had all her phobias fussed over all her life.