Parents' Guide to

Dear Mr. Watterson

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Talky docu on Calvin & Hobbes cartoonist may bore kids.

Movie NR 2013 89 minutes
Dear Mr. Watterson Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

A Look Into the Power Of A Comic Strip

Ahh Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip about the limitless bounds of childhood, the uncertainty of it....and adding straight up philosophy and politics into the mix. It was one of the greatest comic strips of all time and this documentary is not about Watterson the man persay but its more about the impact Calvin and Hobbes, a merely comic strip and never anything else (legally anyway), has made on others. It also explores the importance of an art form staying an art form and looks into the dangers of going to far in syndication and consumerism. Its a good documentary to look at if you ever loved reading the comic strip.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

The intriguing DEAR MR. WATTERSON has two frustrating aspects: Most obviously, the reclusive Bill Watterson does not appear anywhere in the film. He's not even in photographs, though some of his quotes are printed onscreen. Secondly, director Joel Allen Schroeder -- whose first feature-length film this is -- fails to film the "Calvin and Hobbes" comics in a simple, straightforward way so that the audience can actually read them; instead, he keeps them moving around, adding digital effects for short attention spans.

And though the rest of the movie is presented in the typical talking-head format, the interviews are all enthusiastic and feature the faces behind many popular comic strips, including Berkeley Breathed ("Bloom County" and "Opus") and Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine"). The movie generates great excitement and awe over Watterson's work, especially when Schroeder is shown, white-gloved, poring over original strips. The movie definitely makes you want to read, or re-read, these classics.

Movie Details

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