Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Spike Jonze talks Maurice Sendak

The innovative director collaborated with the late, great children's book artist and author on the 2009 screen adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are."

Maurice Sendak -- who died Tuesday, age 83, leaving behind a wealth of words and drawings that will live on and on -- had invited the visionary music video maker turned filmmaker Spike Jonze to try his hand at adapting what is perhaps Sendak's best known book,  Where the Wild Things Are.

In an interview with Jonze when his fittingly wild, live-action interpretation of Sendak's bedtime tale came out in 2009, the director talked about the impact Sendak's work had had on his own childhood, and on shaping his imaginative world. In the book, and the movie, a misbehaving kid, Max, is sent to bed without his supper, and somehow journies to a land inhabited by horned, clawed, feathered and unruly giant monsters.

"I would look at those pictures -- where Max's bedroom turns into a forest -- and there was something that felt like magic there," Jonze said in the interview. "Just the power of that creation, when somebody invents something that seems so familiar to you -- that's a strong feeling.... And for me, even at 5, I probably had dreams that were similar to that story in some way."

Read the piece about Jonze and Sendak's collaboration, and the making of the film version of Sendak's 1963 kid-lit classic, here.