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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

RIP Gene Wilder: Children’s Literature’s Avatar

Consider, if you will, the life of Gene Wilder.  Since his death, many people have been doing precisely that.  It makes me happy, but since I’ve harbored a not-so-secret crush on the man for decades (a quick search of this blog will back that up) I felt it necessary to point out that for all that he was a great actor, he was also, and often, key in bringing to life various famous children’s literary characters.

The most obvious of these was, of course, Willy Wonka.  Without Wilder’s mad genius, the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory could never have been the wonder that it was.  A brief hat tip to Gene there:

Mr. Wilder also portrayed The Fox in the live adaptation of The Little Prince.  Though not as odd as Bob Fosse’s Snake, it’s still a mighty peculiar role.

Some would then forget but Mr. Wilder also portrayed the Mock Turtle in a made-for-TV adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In his honor, then, allow me to post all the funny links related to Mr. Wilder and his roles as I can come up with.


 

First up, long before wrote the picture book Let Me Finish, Minh Lê created this stellar little post about a reality show called The Sweet Life.


 

I loved it when he was portrayed as one of the many American actors in this faux montage Celebrating 50 Years of American Doctor Who.

Admit it.  He would have been glorious.


 

Next up, one of my favorite How It Should Have Ended videos:


 

This other little gem came up not too long ago:


 

And in parting . . .

YellowBrick

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. Hey, Betsy–you know the scene at the end of 50 Years of American Doctor Who in which Gene Wilder is jumping around? 10 points if you could tell me the name of the movie that scene is from.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I was asking that of a friend a while ago. Alas, I’ve forgotten the answer. I wish I knew!

  2. It was The Adventure of Sherlock Homes’ Smarter Brother, written and directed by Gene Wilder. Came out in 1975. Gene played Sigerson Holmes, Sherlock’s younger brother, who was terribly jealous of Sherlock (“Do you know what his first really is? ‘Sheer Luck!'”) Pretty good movie.

  3. Desiree Preston says:

    Hi,

    Speaking of happy childhood memories, I was able to track down what is for sure the book I was looking for when I read you article at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/11/26/thanksgiving-the-ernestine-mystery/#comment-4765. I don’t know if it is really the one you were looking for, but I thought I’d let you know. It is called Good Old Ernie by Jerry Mallett. Shout out to my second grade teacher, Judy Gomoluch, who is still good friends with my fourth grade teacher Mary Kain, and saw and answered my Facebook post.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!!!!

      I can’t believe it! After all these years and that, you are absolutely 100% correct, is IT. WOW! Thank you so much for solving this. I’m off to find it for myself. Wow wow wow!