Maurice Sendak on Jim Henson

Maurice Sendak on Jim Henson

Sendak talks about Jim Henson.

Maurice Sendak Joan Cooney

Sendak at a meeting with Joan Ganz Cooney and Matt Robinson.

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) was an author, illustrator, and cartoonist best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are.

Sendak was quoted in the Henson-produced TV film Youth '68.

Sendak was an early member of the National Board of Advisors for the Children's Television Workshop during the development stages for Sesame Street. Attending most of the early seminars, Sendak created a series of sketches based on elements of the discussion, from such issues as sex roles and sibling rivalry. Though he played no known active role in the final creative outcome of the series, Sendak's drawings from these seminars were used by Gerald S. Lesser in his book Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street, and were featured in Michael Davis' Street Gang.

Bob read Where the Wild Things Are in the first Sesame Street test show (however this was omitted for the commercial release on Old School: Volume 2). Images from the book were used in the 1970s version of the sketch "The Organized Mind". Later, in Episode 0030, Susan read What Do You Say Dear? by Sesyle Joslin, and Else Holmelund Minarik's A Kiss for Little Bear in Episode 0112 with illustrations by Sendak.

Sendak later collaborated with Jim Henson on two animated films for the series, writing and designing them. One was "Bumble Ardy", and with Jim Henson as the voice of Bumble Ardy. This segment appears as an easter egg on disc 1 of Old School: Volume 2. In 2011, Sendak published a book, Bumble-Ardy, based on the story.

Sendak and Henson also collaborated on another segment, "Seven Monsters"[1] upon which his 1977 book Seven Little Monsters was later based (and the 2000s PBS Kids TV series).[2] The two segments eventually stopped being shown because Sesame Workshop got reports that kids watching were "freaked out" by them.[3]

In 1980, Henson, Sendak, and Jon Stone were in talk of producing a film called The Varied Adventures of Mischievous Miles.[4]

Sendak's book Where the Wild Things Are also appears in Sarah's room in Labyrinth. They were meant to be represented in Sarah's dream by The Fireys, which were originally referred to as the Wild Things. After seeing a rough cut of the film, Sendak convinced Henson to change their name.[5] Certain general themes, as well as Toby's pajamas, were inspired by both this book, and even more so by Sendak's 1981 book Outside Over There (which also appears in Sarah's room). Sendak received acknowledgement in the film's end credits, which read "Jim Henson acknowledges his debt to the works of Maurice Sendak."

Sendak was interviewed in the 1993 documentary The World of Jim Henson

A feature film version of Where the Wild Things Are was released by Warner Bros. Pictures in October 2009, using effects and puppets from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.


  1. Karen Falk, via email, B. Delaney
  2. The Art of Maurice Sendak, Selma Lanes. 1984
  3. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 156
  4. Jim Henson's Red Book - 4/19/1080
  5. YouTube Brian Henson with University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, May 8, 2015

External links

Wikipedia has an article related to:
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+