Monday, 14 May 2012

MICKEY MONDAYS: Manifestations of the Mouse

Author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, who died last week, was born in the same year as Mickey Mouse. Here he is writing about his favourite childhood companion:
Mickey Mouse was our buddy. My brother and sister  and I chewed his gum, brushed our teeth with his toothbrush, played with him in a seemingly endless variety of games, and read about his adventures in comic strips and story books. Best of all, our street pal was also a movie star. In the darkened theater, the sudden flash of his brilliant, wild, joyful face – radiating great golden beams – filled me with an intoxicating, unalloyed pleasure...

Though I wasn't aware of it at the time, I now know that a good deal of my pleasure in Mickey had to do with his bizarre proportions: the great rounded head extended still farther by those black saucer ears, the black trunk fitting snugly into ballooning red shorts, the tiny legs stuffed into delicious doughy yellow shoes. The giant white gloves, yellow buttons, pie-cut eyes, and bewitching grin were delectable finishing touches...

A gratifying shape, fashioned primarily to facilitate the needs of the animator, he exuded a sense of physical satisfaction and pleasure – a piece of art that powerfully affected and stimulated the imagination.
From Caldecott & Co: Notes on Books & Pictures by Maurice Sendak, Reinhardt Books, 1988

1 comment:

Beth Stilborn said...

What a fascinating and insightful way to look at the iconic Mouse!