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Pooch Cafe optioned for movie with Sony Animation

From Paul Gilligan’s blog comes news that his feature, Pooch Cafe has been optioned by Sony Animation to be made into a CG feature film. He notes that Sony’s two previous forays into computer-animated movies include Open Season (which Steve Moore, creator of In the Bleachers was an executive producer and co-creator) and last year’s Surf’s Up.

Paul writes:

Over the next 12-18 months some preliminary work will commence, things like story and character designs, before a decision is made about proceeding into full production. From what Iâ??ve figured out so far this process can be quite glacial, but Iâ??ll post regular updates as we go along so we can all experience the mechanics of developing a comic strip for the big screen (or however far we get). Sweet biscuits! This could be fun.

Sweet biscuits indeed.

Community Comments

#1 Eric Burke
January/11/2008
@ 5:11 am

Decent strip, but I’m suprised that it got picked over many other toons that style wise, would look better in CGI. Good for Paul, though.

#2 Dan Bielinski
January/11/2008
@ 5:22 pm

Congrats, Paul. I dig Pooch Cafe. I hope you can make the movie happen. Best of luck.

#3 Norm Feuti
January/11/2008
@ 6:07 pm

Wow! Yet another feature being optioned for a movie deal. It’s encouraging to see these opportunities continue to crop up for cartoonists.

How many is that now? Pooch Cafe, Lio … wasn’t Ink Pen being considered for animation too … or did I dream that?

Exciting news for these guys!

#4 Norm Feuti
January/11/2008
@ 6:10 pm

Nope, I didn’t dream it. It’s right here:

http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/newsrelease/?view=464

#5 Pab Sungenis
January/12/2008
@ 2:01 am

Oh, well, looks like I’ll need to animate “The New Adventures Of Queen Victoria.” With Shockwave that should take, oh, twenty minutes. Oh, the labor.

On a more serious note, it is nice to see more features optioned, and I hope they make it all the way to the screen.

#6 Chris Hardiman
January/12/2008
@ 8:24 am

Well, all three of those are among my favorite comic strips (and sadly also among those that I cannot read in my own newspaper). Much in the same way that a novel’s readers are probably apprehensive about how it translates to the big screen, I am apprehensive about how all three will translate to the big screen. I’m not sure if I’d like to see any of them in CGI, and frankly I’m not sure if Paul’s art style will translate well into CGI at all.

However, that’s probably being pessimistic. If any of these movies are anything like the comic strips then I will love to see them. Paul really has a leg up on the others, however, because he regularly does storylines that are several weeks in length. Who knows, maybe Poncho will finally get to catapult a couple of those cats into the sun at the end.

Congratulations and good luck to Paul, Phil, and Mark!

#7 Garey Mckee
January/12/2008
@ 9:08 am

One of the reasons why Breathed nixed the Opus film project was for similar reasons as Chris mentioned. He was wary about his lack of creative control in keeping the character true to his strips. That’s also why Breathed said there would never be another television project like A Wish For Wings That Work, as he was very disappointed by the finished product.

These film options are great opportunities to be sure, but I would hope that the studio would give the creator of the strip much of the creative control and say in the production and content.

#8 Larry Levine
January/12/2008
@ 11:18 am

With the exception of Bill Melendez’s faithful handling of the Peanuts specials/features, film adaptions rarely stay true to the original strip. Even Max Fleischer’s Popeye cartoons, great as they are, took many liberties with Segar’s Thimble Theater.

#9 Pab Sungenis
January/13/2008
@ 5:34 am

And those Bill Melendez Peanuts specials were true to the original because Sparky had total creative control. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t.

Another example are the two hard-to-find “Pogo” cartoons. Chuck Jones did one that Walt hated, so Walt and his wife went and did one themselves, and the strain helped kill him.

Whenever you give control of your characters up for any reason, the result is going to be different from what you would have envisioned.

#10 Chris Hardiman
January/13/2008
@ 9:07 am

It’s the same with the “Krazy Kat” cartoons in the 1920s and 1930s. George Herriman had absolutely no involvement and so the animated shorts turned out to be very imitative of Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse shorts. Other than a common name and the fact that a cat/kat was the star, there were no similarities to the comic strip. I’m sure that Herriman never envisioned that.

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