Calvin & Hobbes Creator Pretty Much Dashes All Hope Of Animated Movie

Calvin & Hobbes Creator Pretty Much Dashes All Hope of Animated Movie

Bill Watterson is cartooning's J.D.Salinger: creator of a genius-level touchstone work who's practically disappeared from the public eye. But, somehow, Mental Floss scored an interview with him. Watterson sounds just dandy overall but crushes the dreams of anybody hoping that Pixar or any other animation house would ever get the chance to adapt Calvin & Hobbes for film or TV.

There's a short preview of the chat with Watterson on the magazine's website and, while Watterson says he's a fan of the Toy Story folks' oeuvre, that's not enough to let them have a crack at his beloved boy-and-stuffed-tiger duo.

The visual sophistication of Pixar blows me away, but I have zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes. If you've ever compared a film to a novel it's based on, you know the novel gets bludgeoned. It's inevitable, because different media have different strengths and needs, and when you make a movie, the movie's needs get served. As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. There's no upside for me in adapting it.

Bit of a bummer, yes, but Watterson's got a point. Fans of popular books, games or movies all have painful examples of favourite works being horribly ported to other media. You can't blame Watterson for not wanting that to happen to C&H.

[via Mental Floss]

Picture: Johan Vinet


    He's got a point - Calvin and Hobbes work best as they are. There's something about the artstyle that works very well with static.

    He wants to protect his creation. That's fine with me. Calvin and Hobbes honestly felt like it lasted for just the right amount of time and ended when it needed to.

      I'm just worried about what happens when he moves on. Peanuts creator Charles Shultz said that the strip was to end when he died. Since then, his grandchildren have taken ownership and are making new books :/

      I don't really want to see that happen with Watterson.

        Well he did finish it. So he's not going to die and it will get picked up and keep going.

    If there's no need, there's no need. If the creator doesn't have anything to say in another medium then just keep the comic awesome.

    I disagree. I mean, it's completely his choice, but I feel that comics and movies are inherently tied as mediums. They both straddle the idea of visual storytelling in a way no two other mediums do. Same ideas of pacing, framing mise en scene and so forth. This is why the idea of storyboards exist (and why films such as Sin City and 300 exist). I felt the footrot flats movie was a great natural extension from the comics and feel they could do the same here.

    That said I do have a great deal of respect for someone who refuses a quick buck for the integrity of their work. And as said previously, it is of course his choice.

    Watterson has always been very protective of Calvin & Hobbes; he also refuses essentially all commercial marketing/exploitation of the comic (for example, you can't get an *authorised* T-shirt with images from the comic, although there are plenty of unauthorised ones.)

    He doesn't want the comic messed up by somebody else, even second-hand. While I do wish he was more flexible, I can understand his position.

    Sadly it's very likely that when he dies the heirs will not be so choosy.

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