Of American newspaper comic strips, few great ones have been so short-lived, and yet so enduring in the public, than "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson. This film explores the strip, its special artistic qualities and its extraordinary lasting appeal decades after its conclusion. Furthermore, the film explores the impact of Bill Watterson, a cartoonist with high artistic ideals and firm principles who defied the business conventions of a declining medium. Although he forwent a merchandising fortune for his strip, various associates and colleagues speak about how Watterson created a legacy that would be an inspiration for years to come.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
If you want fond memories of the strip, skip this documentary.
I don't usually watch documentaries. Outside of the occasional History channel, it's very rare. But one about the creator of "Calvin & Hobbes" was surely something to be excited about, and could not miss. Despite a mixed review or two I read, I still sat down to watch it. And it was terribly uninspiring. The structure was lackluster, the timing drawn out, the narration flat. The interviews were good for the most part, but a lack of direction (for the doc, not tips from the director) made them seem endless and repetitive. This doc adds nothing new, tells us nothing new, and barely tells us anything old. It's as if we just gathered a bunch of people familiar with the strip, or comic strip coworkers, and a couple who knew Bill personally, and all sat down for drinks telling stories about "the time they all worked at the same shop". That's not worthy of a documentary feature. Maybe a podcast?
I tried sticking it out all the way through. I can count the number of movies I've intentionally stopped watching on one hand, the most recent being "Grown Ups", and now sadly, what started out as a promising endeavor, has become the next victim in that tragic statistic. If I was one of the kickstarter contributors, I would be disappointed. And I'd write that on my Calvin & Hobbes notepad next to the cut-out comic and the homemade envelope as it sits on top of the bookshelf holding the actual books. I hate being so negative about anything in regards to such a wonderful comic strip, but this documentary degrades, and my memories would've been better had I not seen it.
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