An Animated Calvin and Hobbes
by Perry Michael Simon on March 21, 2013
In case you haven’t seen this very brief Calvin and Hobbes animation by Adam Brown yet, stop what you’re doing and watch it. Adam took the art from a C&H strip and used them as keyframes to make the boy and his tiger move for you.
Now, as you probably know, Bill Watterson was notoriously restrictive about the use of his characters, declining to merchandise them (and thus spawning all those unlicensed Calvin-peeing-on-stuff decals you’ll see on your less reputable pickup trucks in the 909). That was not necessarily a bad decision, because it meant that Calvin and Hobbes (and Suzie and Mom and Dad and Rosalyn the babysitter and Miss Wormwood and Moe) remain exactly as the artist intended, where he intended them to be, on the printed page in comic strip form, and if you have never experienced the joy of sitting back and reading the original strips from beginning to end, buy the boxed set right now and be amazed. It’s indisputably brilliant all the way through. But Watterson’s tight control over the strip means that we’ve never seen Calvin and Hobbes animated. This stab at just that is a tantalizing snippet of what might have been, as long as it’s allowed to be posted.
(And while we’re talking about comic strips, my heart jumped a little when I discovered that another brilliant strip about precocious kids which also ended before we were ready to let it go, Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac, is scheduled for a complete-run treatment and can be pre-ordered now. Even Watterson himself recognized Cul de Sac as something special. But someone already did animated versions of that strip.)