From his books to his poignant, bittersweet and sometimes hilarious interviews later in life, Maurice Sendak’s work and influence play an ongoing role for many of us. Where the Wild Things Are is definitely one of his most famous works, but I also pored over his Little Bear series, In the Night Kitchen and one of my favourite sets, The Nutshell Library. Every Christmas I re-read his gorgeous version of The Nutcracker and as a child, I used to listen to Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must be More to Life, on vinyl, narrated wonderfully by Tammy Grimes and soundtracked by Mozart, pretty much all the time. To some it may seem like one odd tale, but as with most beloved children’s stories, the oddness and darkness are what make it vividly memorable.
A few years ago, when Christian came home from a location scout to say that he would be working on a short film called Higglety Pigglety Pop!, I just about jumped into the sky. I was so excited he didn’t really know what to do with me. So, when the production got underway, he brought me to the set. It was thrilling and really wonderful to see him in his element, and watch such talented artists doing what they do best. The sets were fabulous, the lighting was (of course) perfect and Jennie, well – she was exactly as she should be. The NFB did a lovely job of documenting some behind-the-scenes footage, which you can check out here.
Thank-you Maurice Sendak, and farewell, wild thing.