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Monday, September 1, 2014

Out-Takes of Children's Classics

A lost chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children almost 50 years ago, has been published ..in Saturday's Guardian Review.  Timmy Troutbeck and "a rather bumptious little boy called Wilbur Rice", backed by their vile parents, shout abuse at Willy Wonka's warnings, scramble into the wagons, and are carried off through a hole in the wall. "That hole," said Mr Wonka, "leads directly to what we call the Pounding and Cutting Room. In there the rough fudge gets tipped out of the wagons into the mouth of a huge machine. The machine then pounds it against the floor until it is all nice and smooth and thin. After that, a whole lot of knives come down and go chop chop chop, cutting it up into neat little squares, ready for the shops." - Maev Kennedy, The Guardian
A deleted scene from Go, Dog, Go! by PD Eastman shows several dogs awaiting euthanasia.  "A green dog in a blue cage.  A blue dog in a green cage.  Die, dog, die."  In Eastman's personal papers a note was found saying, "I don't know what I was thinking.  I must've been crazy."
The classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown illustrated by Clement Hurd originally had an additional page between "Goodnight nobody" and "Goodnight mush" which simply read, "For God's sake, just go to sleep already!"  The page was not included in the published version for being too "harsh."
In Where the Wild Things Are, Max, who arrives on the island of Wild Things wearing only his pajamas and who is much smaller than the native fauna is torn to pieces and eaten before author Maurice Sendak bowed to pressure to be "more commercial."
In the first draft of The Cat in the Hat, rather than cleaning up the house with a magical machine, the Cat and the children lie in wait for Mother's return, then ambush her, and throw her corpse in the basement.  The publisher rejected the manuscript and Dr. Seuss rewrote the ending.
Curious George was shot by animal control officers as a public menace, and the Man in the Yellow Hat paid a hefty fine for endangerment and animal cruelty.  This episode was later dropped.

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