HBO’s Maurice Sendak doc: why he “hated” his parents, doesn’t “believe in childhood”

Spike Jonze film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is in theatres Friday (watch the trailer–it’s great), and a few days earlier, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET, HBO debuts a documentary about the author that’s produced in part by the filmmaker who adapted his work.

Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs’ Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak “offers a deeply personal look at an otherwise private and somewhat isolated man,” according to HBO.

Although he created beloved children’s literature, he has interesting thoughts about one of his primary audiences. As Sendak says in the trailer for the documentary below, “I don’t believe in children. I don’t believe in childhood.”

After Elton reports that in the documentary, Sendak discusses his “parents inability to accept his being gay — not to mention his being an artist — is part of why Sendak says in the documentary that he ‘hated’ them. He says they never wanted to have kids in the first place and were terrible at parenting, giving him a miserable childhood.”

Here’s the trailer:

Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak [HBO]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.