- Family and Parenting
Why We Need A Calvin & Hobbes Movie
In A Truly Just World...
When I began to write this hub, I found myself stumped when Hubpages asked me to categorize the piece. Calvin & Hobbes fits into many slots: Family & Parenting, Philosophy, Entertainment- comedy, Social Issues, and more. I ultimately decided on Family & Parenting, with Kids as the subcategory because that is truly the heart of the beloved comic, and also the meat of my plea to Hollywood and Bill Watterson to get this movie made, and made well... like, Pixar well.
I will attempt to draft a logical, emotional, and market-based argument that will hopefully spread far across the web and end up in the laps of both Mr. Watterson and some high-ranking studio executive with a soft spot for a philosophical young troublemaker and his imaginary pet tiger.
A Brief Intro For The Uninitiated
For those that don't know, Calvin & Hobbes was a comic strip that ran from 1985-1995. Although it only had a 10-year run, it has remained a pop culture icon to this very day. Calvin is a plucky young boy with an imagination that cannot be measured. Along with Hobbes -a stuffed tiger that Calvin imagines to be real- he goes on many backyard adventures and provides deep and meaningful commentary on life and the world, in a way that feels genuine, refreshing, and could only be expressed through the eyes of a child. In summation, it's wonderful.
Is The Story Timely?
It's better than that, it's timeless. As long as there have been children, there has been child-like wonder and imagination. That is the entire concept of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin doesn't retreat into fantasy to escape the horrors of war, like in Pan's Labyrinth, nor does he create imaginary wonders to deal with the existential dread of being a nobody, like in Fight Club. He is simply being a charmingly mischievous kid, and we need that innocence now more than ever.
So yeah, I guess it's timely as well.
Is It Marketable?
In Hollywood today, Intellectual Properties, or IPs, sell big time. As the market for original material shrinks, the demand for movies and television shows based on pre-existing properties swells.
Therefore, the massive recognition and national adoration of C & H make it a no-brainer!
But Why Do We NEED It?
Because Calvin represents the innocence that we all yearn for inside. In the world today, we've forgotten what it's like to be a kid. Even children are being forced to grow up too soon! They have as much access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as adults do; which is to say, unlimited, and they're exposed to the scary lies and bitter loathing of the adult world.
Give them, and us, a reason to feel good again; to remind us what it was like to play in the backyard and go on wild adventures within our mind's eye. C & H is a simple adventure story with a huge amount of heart that appeals to a multi-generational audience and, if done well, will make a megagillion dollars at the box office.
I'm Sold, Let's Do It!
Hang on. I haven't mentioned that the biggest hurdle for making this a movie is the author himself, Bill Watterson.
Watterson doesn't see the merit on making his creation anything beyond a comic strip. His statements from a 2013 Mental Floss article show he has become lackadaisical toward the typical Hollywood engine that takes someone's hard work and strips it of most of its meaning and values. The end result being a mindless cash grab to capitalize on the recognition that comes with the name. After the horrific "Garfield" movies, who can blame the guy.
However, I think Watterson is wrong, even selfish, to assume a high-quality Calvin film can't be made. The strip ended in 1995; he should give it to someone who loves it enough to ensure that the property will be treated with utmost reverence, and who will keep the heart and soul of the story firmly intact.
He wouldn't have to look very hard, either: Calvin & Hobbes is, as I've stated before, a national treasure, beloved my millions. Hollywood wouldn't dare turn it into anything beyond perfection.
This is the part where I would make the plea to the fans to write Mr. Watterson and beg him to reconsider. Do it for the children: the ones playing with their cell phones, desperate for something deeper; and the ones floating around your subconscious, waiting for you to play with them one more time.