This Friday, audiences across the nation will finally get a chance to see what director Spike Jonze did with his adaptation of the classic Maurice Sendak children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.” It’s one of those classics like “Goodnight Moon,” a work that’s enduring enough to leave multiple generations with a sense of nostalgia at the very mention of it.
Jonze is perhaps the perfect director to bring Sendak’s imagination-fueled, dream-like vision to life. I personally think that audiences are going to divided in the final analysis, but the movie is something special nonetheless. Today’s Prop-Watch pick doesn’t actually tie to the movie, but it was created by Sendak’s hand and is thus worth taking a look at.
The auction opens at $25,000 and, unsurprisingly, there are no bids down for it just yet. The seller’s explanation is about as complete a description as you could ask for, so I’m reprinting it below. The short version: Sendak himself made this sketch, for Sony to use as a guide in creating a window display at a San Francisco department store in 1997. Details follow…
Fantastic drawing of Lady Wild Thing in her ballet tutu dancing on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, waving King Nutcracker in her right paw during their annual Christmas show, while one of the rockettes is accidentally hurled upside down into the audience pit while another looks on from behind in horror; Max in his wolf suit stands to the side and just laughs at all the fun. At the bottom of the picture, in what could be the orchestra pit, are the two children who look like the characters from Mr. Sendak’s 1952 classic “A Hole is to Dig.” This drawing was used as the final model for the artists at SONY to create one of their six mechanical windows for the 1996 holiday season in New York City.
This was created at the beginning of Maurice Sendak’s contractual agreement with the SONY Corporation, where they licensed his designs and creativity for making “Where the Wild Things Are” products, in preparation for opening their Metreon flagship store in San Francisco (April 1997). To launch the visibility of these arrangements at their then current east coast corporate headquarters, they commissioned six mechanical windows for the Christmas season. This is one of the original six pictures done by Maurice Sendak’s own had, a genuine finished WILD THINGS drawing which was then turned over to SONY staff artists who used it as the basis for their own three-dimensional colored cardboard rendering of this image drawn in Sendak’s unique style. The sheet is attached at the top edge by two strips of brown paper tape to a photocopy of a rendering by the SONY staff, where Mr. Sendak has written a pencil notation below it “Work from this version.” This actual Sendak drawing is non acetate paper with its image size measuring 7 1/2″ X 7 1/16″ on larger paper (11 15/16 X 9″). It is fully signed in pencil “Maurice Sendak” in the lower left corner, and this sheet is registered in Mr. Sendak’s digital archive database as #5142 to guarantee its authenticity and genuineness. It is accompanied by a 1996 colored postcard created for Sony Plaza, NYC, illustrating what the finished window design looked like when completed. The piece comes framed in a beautiful blue frame measuring 1′ 10 1/2″ X 2′ 3 1/2.”