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Hart family hopeful for B.C. animated feature (UPDATED)

The Hart family is shopping Wizard of Id and B.C. to Hollywood for an animated feature or television series. Portfolio.com reports that animator Mark Simon has signed a production and development agreement with the Hart Estate last December and is now working with Creators and a Talent agency to pitch the idea for a movie or show to Hollywood studios.

Animating the comic strips is something Mastroianni, 32, believes is critical to the longevity of the series.

“Newspapers used to be one of the only venues for comic strips, but they’re suffering now, so it’s good to look at other avenues. TV and movies give you better exposure.”

“We’ve always been interested in doing more with the strips,” said Mastroianni. “This feels like the right step.”

UPDATE: Several of you have commented about the earlier B.C. specials. I was able to find the Thanksgiving one on YouTube.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
February/25/2010
@ 8:41 am

If something comes out of this, let’s hope it’s hand-drawn animation.

Anyone remember the two B.C. specials they did?

#2 Stephen Beals
February/25/2010
@ 8:45 am

My brother had (and probably still has) them on laserdisc. I’ll have to ask him.

The one that threw me off had the main voice acting by the great comedy team Bob and Ray. As a fan, I couldn’t accept them as B.C. characters.

#3 Pab Sungenis
February/25/2010
@ 8:50 am

If it goes through, let’s hope its writing is in the Classic BC style that Mason has been bringing the strip back to, and not the preachy pushing of Hart’s particular flavor of Christianity that the strip had devolved to before his passing.

#4 Charles Brubaker
February/25/2010
@ 8:52 am

In the Christmas special right? I haven’t seen that one yet. The Thanksgiving special, which came out in 1973, had guys like Daws Butler and Don Messick doing the voices.

What was interesting, though, is that a good chunk of the special had no dialogus. It was basically a chase cartoon, where the guys spent most of the special trying to catch a turkey for Fat Broad’s rock soup.

#5 Terry LaBan
February/25/2010
@ 9:55 am

I can see it: “B.C.: Left Behind”.

#6 Stephen Beals
February/25/2010
@ 10:19 am

That’s right. Bob and Ray for Christmas and the H/B guys doing the voices for Thanksgiving. I remember a lot of chasing and running around, but not much else.

Now I’m going to have to go bug my brother to watch those again.

Not that I want it, but there might be a good market for Christian-themed B.C. cartoons. I could see it sellig well alongside other Christian cartoons.

The whole thing about a strip called B.C. involving Christ still mystifies me, though.

#7 Charles Brubaker
February/25/2010
@ 10:24 am

Funny thing about the Thanksgiving special is that most of the animators who worked on it were previously with Chuck Jones in one way or another.

In fact, the special’s producer/director, Abe Levitow, worked with Jones on many cartoons, since their Warner days.

#8 Tom Heintjes
February/25/2010
@ 12:48 pm

Mason worked as a computer animator prior to taking over B.C. Not that that necessarily indicates anything, but I’d be surprised if a B.C. program was 2-D.

#9 Stephen Beals
February/25/2010
@ 1:04 pm

Yeah, good ol’ Abe Levitow. I actually enjoyed his work on Tom & Jerry as a kid (yes, I was one of the weirdos who liked the Chuck Jones Tom & Jerry). They also did the Pogo special, didn’t they?

I can’t imagine 3-D B.C.

#10 Charles Brubaker
February/25/2010
@ 4:32 pm

I dunno. I prefer the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry’s over Jones’. The Deitch shorts had this weird factor that made it worth watching every now and then. Not to mention the fact that it was produced in Prague, animated by people who had never seen a single cel of the original MGM shorts…

#11 Garey Mckee
February/25/2010
@ 5:09 pm

Chuck Jone’s Tower 12 animation staff were his same production staff from Warner Brothers. I liked the Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry shorts for that reason. Maurice Noble’s layouts were, and still remain, the most innovative in the business.

But back on topic, I feel Wizard of Id lends itself more to animation than BC does. The two previous BC television animations were lackluster to say the least. Id’s characters seem much more engaging and relevant.

#12 Charles Brubaker
February/25/2010
@ 5:28 pm

Jim Henson did a pilot based on Wizard of Id once, using puppets. One of the first time Henson did a muppet version of an already established characters.

In addition, back in the seventies there was a children’s show called “Curiosity Shop”. Throughout there were short animated segments based on strips around at the time, and the Wizard of Id was one of them.

And guess who produced “Curiosity Shop”. None other than Chuck Jones himself.

#13 Alan Gardner
February/25/2010
@ 6:27 pm

I’ve updated the post with YouTube video of the B.C. Thanksgiving special.

Enjoy.

#14 Shane Davis
February/25/2010
@ 9:36 pm

Yeah, it’d have to be 1973 and I would probably have to be around 9 to judge those videos fairly…but it ain’t no ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ fer sure…

#15 Phil Wohlrab
February/26/2010
@ 10:09 pm

I think they’re reanimating a corpse. BC &Wizard animation I could see being successful as dollar Dvds, along with Casper and Mighty Mouse. (which are on dollar Dvds incidentally)

#16 Charles Brubaker
February/27/2010
@ 12:01 am

Here are some of BC commercials animated over the years

1973 ACTION PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aplTy_Y5qP0

1974 ACTION PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT9Ki8Ksns0

1988 Monroe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oibzUcs12Ig

And the Christmas special is on YouTube too. Here’s part 1

#17 Joe Rank
February/28/2010
@ 2:27 am

Bring back “Yellow Kid”.

#18 Phil Wohlrab
February/28/2010
@ 10:51 am

I don’t even know “Yellow kid” existed but it already looks way more interesting than BC. The Casper movies were at least updated and that character has a connection with a kid. Kids don’t care about BC.

#19 Rich Diesslin
March/1/2010
@ 1:26 pm

Charles, 1973 sounds like narration by Lloyd Bridges. The voices used for the Monroe commercial come the closest to fitting the characters (IMO).

I hope they get both in production. Both classic strips. The hard part is always fitting the voices with the characters. Charlie Brown did it well, Dilbert and Garfield really didn’t.

#20 Mark Simon
March/4/2010
@ 9:30 am

Great comments. I want to assure everyone that we will be adhering to the classic humor of B.C., just like Mason and Mick are producing.

And yes, I want to do B.C. in glorious 2D, but add the modern bells and whistles.

I am a huge fan and have been since I was 5. I will do everything I can to make these rock in animation.

I am working closely with the Hart family on the concepts, so we will be true to the characters. They have been fantastic to work with.

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