Curious George has been a staple of children’s literature for many decades now, since its publication in 1939. The adventures of the mischeivious monkey and his yellow clad owner has captivated generations, but how much is actually known of the story’s origins? Luckily for us, one ambitious documentarian is committed to bringing us the little known history.
Margaret and Hans Rey (Image courtesy of Billscuriousgeorge)
The only catch is, she needs your help! Ema Ryan Yamazaki is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund her directorial debut: a multi-media documentary about Hans and Margaret Rey. The couple who created the series were refugees who fled Nazi-Occupied France, and were subsequently encourged to turn a collection of cartoons into a children’s series. On the documentary, Yamakazi has said:
The Reys were great storytellers, so ultimately, we looked to them to guide us. How would Hans and Margret tell their own story? We use audio and video records of Hans and Margret, accompanied by interviews we filmed of those who knew the Reys personally, or studied the Reys’ life. By using a narrator and graphical elements like page turns, we’ve designed the documentary to evoke the feeling of a Curious George book. Visually, the film will be a combination of animated sequences integrated with archival material, and sit-down interviews. It is our hope for audiences to step into the world of the Reys and understand their story through how they saw the world.
Apparently, Yamazaki was inspired by the multi-cultural background of the Reys. In order to research their inspiring story, she was granted acces to primary sources such as letters and photographs, from the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi.
You can check out the crew’s Kickstarter page for yourself, and read up on the project.
Featured image courrtesy of The Daily Beast.