Animated Calvin and Hobbes

May 19th, 2007 | Posted in General

Only once a generation or so does a comic strip come along that is embraced that it becomes a classic. Peanuts, of course, is the ultimate example but more recently Calvin and Hobbes fits that bill. It was a real shame Bill Watterson quit after only a decade or so of doing it… the art, characters and writing all blended to create something special. Even his “off” days, the ones where the gag was one of those weak ones, were enjoyable.

This is via The Daily Cartoonist:

This apparently was created as a final project by an Italian film school animator. I’m not sure how I feel about it, as it’s quite against copyrights to use these characters at all. Of course being that it’s in Italy, U.S. copyright isn’t enforceable and I don’t know if Italy has any arrangement with the U.S. over copyrights. There are quite a number of “Calvin and Hobbes” amateur shorts on YouTube already, so I guess Universal Press isn’t too concerned. Given Watterson’s famous aversion to merchandising his characters, that surprises me somewhat.

This short is the most ‘animated’ of all the ones I’ve seen on Youtube. It’s pretty well done and stays quite accurate to Watterson’s drawing style. Even given it’s in Italian, the infant like squeaks uttered by Calvin don’t seem to fit his character, but there you are. Obviously heavily influenced by the Peanuts cartoons, even down to the piano music in the background.

UPDATE: The original video has been removed from Youtube. Clicking on the Youtube logo brings you to a page with the message that reads:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Bill Watterson

I guess Bill managed to drag himself out of his cave long enough to crack down on Youtube. I didn’t know they had internet access in the Ohio wilderness. Now if he could just do something about those decals of Calvin pissing on a Ford logo….

UPDATE II: As of 11:00 am CST, the video is back under a new link and was working again above. It’ll probably be gone in a few hours, so enjoy while you can.??ᬨ‚Ć


  1. RC says:

    Oops, that was quick! They took it down already.

    Oh well …

  2. totopo says:

    aw man.

  3. Tom says:

    It’s back, but sure to be gone again soon.

  4. delamora says:

    I don’t know about copyright laws, but what happens to the rights after he dies? Does his kids (if he has any) get them, or do they go into public domain?

  5. RC says:

    Wow, that was pretty good. Better than most strips-to-animation I see around here in the states. Though I agree the voice didn’t match too well.

    Nice composition, fun to watch. So of course it’s illegal.

  6. The way I understood it, Bill doesn’t want to go to the trouble to protect his trademarks. On the other hand, it IS easier when it’s on YouTube.
    That was some really good animation. One comment said, “Bill, HIRE THIS GUY”, and I’d have to agree. Really good fan art and doesn’t damage the trademark at all, unlike Robot Chicken’s cartoon.

  7. totopo says:

    Ah. At least I got to download it this time. I actually liked the voice. It’s easier to accept the Italian voiceover than an American voice, I think, since it’s going to sound foreign anyway.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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