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‘Calvin and Hobbes’ Creator Breaks His Legendary Silence, Talks About an Animated Movie

Calvin and Hobbes movie
Universal Press Syndicate

Since publishing the last ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ comic strip on December 31, 1995, Bill Watterson, the notoriously private creator behind the series, has only granted one interview (an e-mail exchange with his hometown newspaper, the Plain Dealer, on the 15th anniversary of the strip). Many have tried to get in touch with Mr. Watterson over the years (and a documentary is scheduled to hit theaters this year on that very topic) and almost all have failed.

But, inexplicably, Watterson has emerged from hiding and spoke at length about the legacy of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and the potential for an animated movie.

Speaking with Mental Floss’ Jake Rossen (we still have no idea how Mr. Rossen landed this interview), Watterson touched on a number of topics (does he ever want to peel off one of those stupid “Calvin urinating” decals off the back of a truck?), but perhaps most interestingly, definitively answered the question as to whether we’ll ever see an animated ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ movie. Previously, Watterson had remained somewhat open to the idea (in that he never said never), but that stance seems to have changed.

When asked about a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ movie, specifically the long-hoped-for Pixar collaboration, Watterson was resolute: it’s not going to happen.

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.

No one ever really knows if Pixar would make a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ movie if Watterson were interested (they have their own franchise about a toy that comes to life), but for everyone who’s dreamed of seeing their favorite boy and tiger pair coming to life, this should close to door on those hopes. While it’s disappointing, Watterson is absolutely right. There is no upside, at all, to a ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ movie.

There’s plenty of other gems in the all-too-short interview including some confirmation on popular urban legends (did he really set fire to a box of Hobbes stuffed animals a toy company sent to his house?) but we suggest you read the entire article here. And then lose yourself in the entire ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ archives, online, for free.

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