Calvin and Hobbes Author Hated the Idea of Adapting Comics into Movies and Turned Down Spielberg For It

Calvin and Hobbes was never meant to be made into a motion picture, so it’s with great pride that those of us that remember and love the comic strip can say a big “thank you” to creator Bill Watterson. He went so far as to say ‘no thanks’ to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas when they expressed interest in his strip, which had to have taken some kind of special talent since not a lot of authors worth their ink would have said no to having their creation place in the hands of such legendary film makers. Watterson never had any intention of handing Calvin and Hobbes over to anyone though, it was his creation and he was happy with it. That’s why it’s so easy to say thank you, not just because he held onto an immensely popular comic idea, but because he didn’t allow it possibly get ruined or even bought out by the type of guys that are legends in the industry but are also known for putting their own spin on certain things.

Calvin and Hobbes ran from 1985 to 1995. I can remember their comics as clear as day since I had just about every one of their anthologies and smaller books. They were one of the only cartoons I ever read on a regular basis and to be honest nothing has really come close to them since their inception. They weren’t the completely innocent toons that you might think of for kids but they weren’t that bad either. In some cases the cartoons were a little bit difficult for kids to read since Watterson liked to use his impressive vocabulary, but in other cases it was very simple and child-like since Watterson was attempting to appeal to more than just one demographic.

I can recall trying to read some strips and to find my parents to sound out certain words as a child that I didn’t use on a regular basis and had no idea what they mean, but other strips were fun and very entertaining. Calvin was a 6-year old boy that was about as rambunctious as they come and was usually up to no good. He wasn’t evil by any means but he was very much a stereotypical boy who disliked girls, school, and anything that didn’t fit in with his idea of how the world should be.  His constantly mussed hair and customary clothing was always apparent and his moods varied from overjoyed and happy to down in the dumps, which was usually when he had to go to school.

His imaginary friend, Hobbes, went everywhere with him and interacted with Calvin in a way that only he could understand and see. Hobbes was kind of the moral compass that Calvin didn’t always listen to and the best buddy, the only real buddy, that Calvin had. He was the more understanding side of Calvin in a way despite the fact that he would revert back to being a stuffed tiger the moment Calvin was away from him.

No matter what anyone thought of the strip though I for one am glad that it never became a motion picture. There’s no need ruining something that’s already great.

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