Comic strips have been a source of inspiration for many animators due to their comedic material and imaginative storytelling, composed within only a few panels of story progression. So it’s not surprising that many comic strips have in many occasions received the animated treatment. Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz is amongst the most famous of these, with many movies being made, the majority of which are classic gems on their own right.
BC, created by the late John Hart 1931-2007, and which is currently continued by his grandsons Mason and Mick Mastroianni is the latest comic strip to pursue an animated feature film.
As a comic strip BC debuted in 1958 and explores the antics of cavemen and their lives which in in many instances procure satire to our own current modern society.
The animated feature currently in development with the help of Producer Kevin Richardson, former executive producer at Nickelodeon. As well as a group of top professionals in the industry such as Julia Lundman – concept artist, Claus Dzalakowski- art direction, Dave Fulp- Story Artist, Mike Cachuela – Story artist, Jim Beihold- Story consultant, Jaikumar Balasubramanian- Animation pipeline/ previs.
Unfortunately this iconic strip has, at the moment and despite the current talent behind it, as wells as its iconic status within US culture, has not yet caught the attention of big animation production companies and its future is still dependent on independent funding such as a an indiegogo campaign which currently has reached a $10k mark out of $30k required; This will fund the pre-production required to, hopefully, attract big donors or even the interest of big name studios.
From concept art we can speculate a style of animation similar to Captain Underpants (2017) or the Peanuts movie (2015)
No details have been revealed about the possible direction of the story to the general public and is still in its early stages of preproduction, the concept art revealed provides us with a glimpse at possible directions of the story; a confrontation with a hostile tribe of cavemen, an ominous gravestone erected by one of the main character signifying the possible loss of a beloved character, (could it be wolf?), a young ant venturing on it on a perilous journey and getting mixed up in the events of men. and a perilous journey across a hostile sea to find the source of the floating written tablets, with a climactic extinction level event that will push two new found friends to their limits and change their world forever.
“The BC Movie”. Indiegogo. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-b-c-movie#/. Accessed September 12, 2019
The concept art reveals BC breaking its boundaries and while it could signify a precursor to the comic strip, acting in the manner of prequel to the comic strip itself which appears evident in two characters highlighter in the concept art, one being BC the other one possibly being Thor though its hard to tell as his hair and nose are different. If it is Thor this may denote their initial meeting and consolidation of a friendship.
More than likely however the second character denoted is the mysterious figure which BC maintains contact through his impressively seaworthy stone tables, one of the many ongoing jokes through the comic strip’s history, and it is he shown in the concept art who will journey to seek out BC, which the art seems to suggest is in regards to some impending doom.
While the art maintains the cartoon design of the strips characters, it does not however give us the same jovial, carefree, jokey feel and at times dark humor of the strip, instead making us feel the story will be more serious and adventurous in tone; If that is so, what will this mean for the strips future? Will it be cannon or, just as was in Over the Hedge, acknowledged as only a breaking the 4th wall joke?
Regardless, BC fans will see the world of their beloved characters expanded upon and maybe, just maybe an animate feature will bring open new horizons for our cavemen.