Author Maurice Sendak Passes Away at 83; Watch Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs' Fantastic Documentary on His Life Now

Author Maurice Sendak Passes Away at 83; Watch Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs' Fantastic Documentary on His Life Now

May 08, 2012

Unfortunately this morning brings sad news as the New York Times reports that children's author Maurice Sendak has passed away at the age of 83 due to complications from a recent stroke. Throughout his career, Sendak wrote and illustrated over 100 books, with his most memorable being Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963 by Harper & Row, and just recently adapted for the big screen by Spike Jonze. 

The first time I picked up a copy of Where the Wild Things Are to read to my daughter, this overwhelming feeling of ecstatic nostalgia rushed over me because I was finally getting the chance to share one of my favorite books growing up with my own child. Not a week goes by now without reading Wild Things multiple times, as she's just as drawn to it as I was at her age. The Brooklyn-born Sendak, who wanted to become an illustrator after first watching Disney's Fantasia, had this way of dressing these deep, powerful, grown-up themes in fantastical imagery that was just as digestible and meaningful to a person as an adult as it was to them as a child.

In 2010, around the time Where the Wild Things Are hit the big screen, Spike Jonze teamed with Lance Bangs on this marvelous documentary called  Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak. In a weird twist of fate, the DVD was distributed by Oscilloscope Pictures, who lost their co-founder, Adam Yauch, just a few days ago.

If you have some time today, watch this doc and pay a little tribute to a man who was just as quirky, disturbing and memorable as his books. You can watch the doc in its entirety below. And for more on Sendak, his books and his legacy, definitely read this New York Times obit.

Follow me on Twitter @erikdavis

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