With Dear Mr. Watterson is a documentary about the notoriously private artist behind the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, opening in theaters next month, and it stands to reason that everyone is now asking about the film future of the popular boy and his tiger.
Here is the trailer for the documentary…
On December 31st, 1995, newspapers ran the 3,150th and final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Since then, the fanbase of Bill Watterson’s work has not faltered in the slightest. In fact, arguments could be made that it has grown, through YouTube homages, and various other creative outlets that fans clamor for just to have one more taste of the original magic.
What some fans have perhaps most longed for however, is a full length feature film starring the precocious Calvin and his stuffed tiger friend, Hobbes. Although Bill Waterson has not given many interviews, really any interviews, save for one with his hometown newspaper in 2010, and has never publicly stated whether he would be for sure open to the idea of a film, this has not stopped fans from running with the idea.
In a turn of events surely everyone would like to know, Jake Rossen of Mental Floss scored an interview with the elusive Mr. Watterson and in addition to other burning questions, came right out and asked about the possibility of a Calvin and Hobbes film treatment.
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. — Bill Watterson, Mental Floss
Not quite the answer everyone had hoped for, but at least now we know? The interview (which is just a portion of what will be found in the print edition of the Mental Floss magazine) does touch on other aspects of the Bill Watterson legend, including the story of him putting a torch to a box of stuffed Hobbes dolls. “Not exactly. It was only my head that burst into flames.”
So while our hopes of a full length animated feature may be dashed, there is no doubt that the legend of Calvin and Hobbes will continue to live on in the dreams and imaginations of fans the world over.