Innocence Intact

February 10, 2006

Reading a review of the new Curious George movie, I was surprised to learn of the creators’ backstory.

Writer and illustrator couple Margret and Hans Rey were German Jews from Hamburg who settled in France in 1935.

…Before the first Curious George manuscript could see light, the Reys had to flee Paris on homemade bicycles to escape the Nazi occupation, unpublished book in tow. The Reys escaped to Lisbon, Portugal, and eventually New York City.

Curious George inhabits a benign, forgiving world where people are kind and there are endless adventures to be had. It’s quite stunning to me that such a character and milieu were conceived by European Jews during the warm-up to WWII. I guess that speaks to the power of the mind to create an alternative reality. Is that resilience? Discipline? Escape?