Bone–What Could Have Been

Just for fun, animator Andrew Kaiko created this hand-drawn Flash animation test of Jeff Smith’s comic Bone. He took the audio from an existing Bone video game. It’s too bad the forthcoming Bone feature won’t look nearly as appealing. The film is being made by Animal Logic, the studio that created Happy Feet, and based on the studio’s prior work, their interpretation will likely be all kinds of unwatchable. Jeff Smith himself recently told a crowd that he would have preferred the film to be hand-drawn except that nobody was willing to put up the money if it wasn’t CG. It’s a pathetic state of affairs when a cartoon creator, who understands his work best, is denied the technique of his choice because of unfounded beliefs about the financial performance of one particular animation technique over the other.

In the comment of his video, Kaiko writes, “Reflecting on this, even though the movie will be in CG, I REALLY think they should have a little 2D in it! Like, maybe in the opening and/or closing credits… or maybe in a short sequence in the body of the film!! It worked marvelously for Kung Fu Panda, and Cloudy.”


  • http://weirdocorner.blogspot.com Eric Noble

    That’s pretty cool. The animation of the Bones are pretty awesome. Thorn and Grandma Ben don’t seem to have any solidity. Grandma ben seems to be almost a bit of a blob. I would have loved to see Bone done in 2D. It just feels right.

  • http://www.brandoncordy.com Brandon Cordy

    Looks great.

    A “Bone” movie in CGI doesn’t seem like a good idea to me either, but I’ll wait and see what they’ve done with it in case it does turn out to be good…

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Animating game dialogue — great idea! And very well done here, very expressive.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/OriginalGagBonkers OriginalGagBonkers

    If people actually saw Princess and the frog instead of Avatar we wouldve had something like this.

  • charlemagne

    The game in question was done by Telltale games.

    I strongly suggest everybody to check out all their games at
    http://www.telltalegames.com/

  • captainmurphy

    3d techniques can lead to decent 2d animation. I’m thinking of the talking signage in Rattatouille, and the credits to Kung Fu Panda. Those scenes excelled perhaps because of their 3d underpinnings.

    So I am not of the mind that a 3d CGI version of Bone is automatically a travesty.

    Nor am I convinced by the given sample above that traditional 2d could be pulled off as well, given todays talent. With all due respect,That looks like a 1980s television cartoon, and the voice talent and direction pulled from a game simply isn’t there either. (was it a good idea to throw the background out of focus like so?)

    Jeff Smiths work has line weight, thick luscious juicy lines that are not often seen even in classic animation of the forties.

    Ideally, it does feel right to be in 2d if the look of Jeffs books could be maintained (I think only someone like Ghibli could do it justice, it would look different, but would realy open up in the darker more dramatic moments)

    Given the choices (Bone probably not done by Ghibli) 3D CGI is probably the way to go

  • Dalton Wizney

    Yes, it’s a shame that animation is a business and not a magical daydream.

  • bob

    @captainmurphy I think you are way off base.

  • amid

    CaptainMurphy: You gave many reasons why it shouldn’t be hand-drawn, but you didn’t offer a single convincing reason why CGI is the most appropriate way to execute a film like Bone. In that respect, you sound like every single exec currently working in animation.

  • Rafael Rosado

    Many years ago I did clean-up on a Bone flipbook that was animated by Tom Bancroft. It was from a scene in issue 10 where Bone is being chased by a rat creature. Jeff did it as a promo/giveaway piece. I’m sure someone must have posted it out there.

  • http://thisisonlya.blogspot.com robcat2075

    It’s not an “unfounded belief”, it’s probably just due diligence on the investors’ part. There’s a certain track record to back up their “belief”.

    They’ve noticed that hand-drawn has only prospered for heavily promoted, heavily pre-sold properties like “The Simpsons” or a Disney feature and “Bone” probably wouldn’t qualify as either of those.

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I always hope there’ll be a movie that gets people to read a graphic novel the way movies based on regular books do. I think Bone could be that movie if they don’t completely botch it.

    The ink work in Bone is so great it almost loses something in color, let alone 3D. I don’t mind being a kneejerk, anti-CGI type in this case, but I would like to see some footage before I completely slam it.

  • Student

    Pretty damn good. Can’t see it in CGI!

  • doctorquinn

    The financial performance of one particular animation technique over the other isn’t “unfounded belief,” it’s irrefutable statistics.

  • http://www.slitherandfriends.com Mister Spook

    I usually have a “wait and see” attitude with most things, but the idea of a CGI Bone movie makes me shudder.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    What saddens me more is that, money or not, the directions of animated films sometimes are just not pushed the right way. And not to bash Jeff, because I love all his stuff and I can’t wait to see what they do with the film regardless, but if he truly wanted it “2D” he could have gotten it done. Maybe not with blockbuster budget and sponsors…maybe not with a studio that’s done up such major productions, but if he wanted to do it the way he envisioned it he could have pushed a little harder. Look at all the animation being done in Spain and Europe, Canada, or Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, or elsewhere around the world…places who would have loved a brand opportunity like this. But then, I dunno how it really is on Jeff’s end, I’m just making assumptions based off whatever tidbits have been talked about like this, so it could very well be very different. This is probably just my inexperienced, naive young whippersnapper thinking and I haven’t been beaten to a pulp by the “system” yet!

    But I can’t help but have names like Bill Plympton and Nina Paley pop into my head, who go above and beyond just for what they envision. Shoot, Jeff could have even asked for random donations to fund even part of the film and even I would have dropped some of my meager pay on it, because it’s something I believe in as well. We all will pay for this film somehow eventually with ticket sales.

    What baffles me even more is to follow a trend by wiping out all other trends. Isn’t a strong market one with diversity? Isn’t diversity what makes your product stand out in a crowd? It seems more like poorer business to throw money on projects to follow the same look while others are waiting, no BEGGING, to be elaborated on and built upon. Soon enough and faster than the studios can catch up again something else will catch the movie goer’s eye and techniques – good techniques – will be abandoned once again in favor of the next “high”. I dunno, maybe logic isn’t allowed in sales and marketing. I could vividly picture Bone – in all it’s dramatic fantasy sequences – in a gorgeous mash-up of techniques, but the characters 2-D at the core to feel more like their original selves.

    I guess we will have to just see what Animal Logic will come up with for Bone. Maybe Jeff has enough influence and a fresh enough team to really pull off an awesome look. Or yes, it can also be completely dull based on their previous work as well, but you never know with changing studio dynamics between projects. Here’s hoping.

    Andrew’s cartoon also reminded me that I had started pencil tests based off Bone characters for myself to work on in my “spare” time…should get back to those!

  • amid

    doctorquinn wrote, “The financial performance of one particular animation technique over the other isn’t “unfounded belief,” it’s irrefutable statistics.”

    Can you please share those “irrefutable statistics” with us? Let me share some real statistics with you. Between 2005-2010, there have been exactly 3 hand-drawn animated features that have received a major release in the United States. They are Curious George ($58 mil), The Simpsons Movie ($183 mil) and The Princess and the Frog ($104 mil).

    Despite what Hollywood would like you to believe, there is absolutely no evidence that hand-drawn films consistently underperform against CG films because hand-drawn films don’t exist in any measurable scale in today’s Hollywood feature market. They replaced one technique over the other on the assumption that they knew what audiences want to see.

  • Rob

    Please call me out on this, but am I the only one who thinks Bone worked just fine as a graphic novel?

    I feel like, no offense to Andrew Kaiko, of course, there’s not much difference in updating Bone to be a 2d animation as there is in updating Yogi Bear or Alvin and the Chipmunks. Yes, if I had to choose, I would rather see more 2d animation, but there’s a definitive charm to your own interpretation of a book, even if its a graphic novel, and that little animation, while technically well done, sounded like it missed the mood of the novel by a long shot. I’d be very hesitant to want to sit through an hour and a half of that.

  • doctorquinn

    @amid: Two of your examples were heavily established franchises, and the other had the Disney pedigree. Despite these advantages, your list populates 14th, 24th, and 33rd place overall in the years 2005-2010, with most if not all of the CGI movies that bested them costing much less to produce.

    The numbers show that it’s a better bet to do a CGI movie, and tagging on things like ‘existing franchise’ and ’3D’ improves the odds even further.

    There’s no prejudice against hand-drawn films other than the numbers.

  • mrscriblam

    god seeing this just makes me even more depressed about that stupid movie

    NOPE CANT DO IT IN 2D

    NOPE MONEY’S TIGHT EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY AND 2D AND CGI COST ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME

    NOPE NOPE NOPE

  • http://klangley.blogspot.com kevin.langley

    “Please call me out on this, but am I the only one who thinks Bone worked just fine as a graphic novel?”

    I have to agree with Rob, some things should just be left alone. Hell I still prefer reading it in black and white rather than the colored version. But if a movie has to be made I think traditional hand drawn animation would suit Bone better.

  • http://www.ronimation.com Ron

    I also have a wait and see attitude. I’ve been a huge Bone fan for many years and even tried to get in on the movie years ago when “Character Builders” the studio that Jeff Smith co-founded, was set to make it in 2D.
    From what I read, Jeff Smith had a deal with Nickelodeon to make the movie and Nick wanted to put Britney Spears songs in the film and have Britney do the voice of Thorn. Jeff adamantly did not want that so the deal fell through.
    Then after seeing “the Incredibles” Jeff was convinced that it could work in CG and so revived interest in making a movie. If it looks as good as ‘The Incredibles’ which shows solid 2D designs translated beautifully in to 3D, I think it would be a good idea. But part of me also wishes that it would just be 2D.
    The larger issue here seems to be that 2D in the last 15 years has gone from being the industry standard to being the “Rodney Dangerfield” of cinema art forms. It gets no respect. I lament that as do most brew readers even though I think none of us have anything against CG per se. We just wish 2D was still considered a viable art form by the powers that be- and not an antiquated craft like basket weaving and tie-dying.

  • Bob Harper

    “It’s a pathetic state of affairs when a cartoon creator, who understands his work best, is denied the technique of his choice because of unfounded beliefs about the financial performance of one particular animation technique over the other.”

    Good to see you stick up for an artist who’s vision got subverted by the man, as opposed to blaming him for not being in control of the situation and just doing it his way…

  • http://www.ronimation.com Ron

    Oh and BTW nicely done Andrew! The animation of Bone looks good.

  • JJ

    I;m gonna havta agree with Jessica Plummer on this one.
    If he REALLY wanted to have it look the way he wanted to, he could have also said “NO”. It’s HIS work (as far as I know) and it could also just NOT get done. I don’t BLAME him at all though. Far be it from me to make assumptions, but I too would be hard pressed to turn down a no-doubt lucrative contract/royalties/whatever on something that I’d done and that is a little saddening especially with a magical property like Bone.

    As a 2D animator myself, I am convinced Bone should not be 3D. Not even Pixar can pull that level of finesse and purity off. 3D is like Flash, just a tool, but it will generally always produce the same look with few deviations.

    I too have had many amazing years reading Bone and admiring Jeff’s style. So many sequences are practically storyboard panels. Things like Bone waking up in the morning and rubbing his eye and slowly realising Thorne is standing right next to him. So many of the work is already so animated, even before I was an animator I would wonder if he had some sort of animator’s background. I feel the same about Bill Watterson’s work, but thats something else altogether.

  • http://www.pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    While Andrew Kaiko’s animation looks really nice, I have to agree with Rob. Maybe Bone should just be left as a graphic novel.

    On the other hand, there’s oodles of boxoffice bucks to grab – and let’s face it, there’s nothing more fun than pouring honey all over yourself, jumping into a room-full of money and then spending whatever sticks to you.

    Everyone should have a hobby – and that includes Jeff Smith. Go for it!

  • Brokenshell44

    As much as I hate to see ANOTHER hit against 2D, I think a CGI Bone movie COULD work. IMO, it doesn’t matter in what way the story is told, if it’s told well, you won’t see me complaining. My only fear is that they will try to take the kiddy-pop route that Nick tried to do in the 90′s. -_-’

  • Scarabim

    I’ve read of the collected comics of Bone – and I still don’t get its appeal. It’s very derivative – especially from Walt Kelly’s Pogo – and its humor is pretty hit-and-miss. As a film I think it’s going to have a tough time finding an audience, no matter how it’s animated. It’s just a little too oddball, and – in my opinion – not all that good.

    As a CG film, I think that Amid is right – it’s likely to look all kinds of awful. As a 2D, the Flash sample proves it’s much more appealing in that format – but still not something I’d pay 8 bucks to see in a theater.

  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com Sabrina

    If I were Jeff and my only option to make a Bone movie was to have it in CG, I wouldn’t make one at all.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com Emmett Goodman

    This is sad. Bone really should be done in 2D, especially if Jeff Smith, solely responsible for Bone for nearly a decade, sees it done that way. Maybe he could have done a test, like this here. But then again, its still a matter of money, and we have a people with the worst mindsets dictating this art form.

  • Andrew Kaiko

    I’m glad the video received generally positive reactions, and the fact that it is on a popular blog is a gracious gesture! Thanks.

    I LIKED Happy Feet. The story was cute, and the music did indeed add to the experience, but the animation was… really nothing special to me. They looked like penguins and moved like them. No umph. No appeal. If they indeed plan to make EVERY character move by way of points mapped by a captured actor, they really should experiment with squash-and-stretch, etc… to make the Bones move the way they should. How will they animate the floating eyebrows? How will they present the scene where Phoney’s eyes bug out and his JAW DROPS ONTO THE FLOOR when presented with Lucius’ cow race bet?! In mo-cap? The point is… I am not against this turn of events… Jeff is just fine with it now… but it makes me curious…

    Perhaps it IS best to leave BONE alone. There have been many adaptations from books that did become successful, but I can only go by initial press releases right now. What the press is telling me, however, doesn’t agree with me.

    And Rob described it the best: 2D is the “Rodney Dangerfield” of cinema. 2D is the one animation medium that has inspired me my whole life, and is my own bread-and-butter now. But I even took a Maya class and taught myself Actionscript at the same time this year because I HAD to know it. No one should be stubborn to learn new things, but that is on the condition you yourself call the first shot. There is just not enough opportunity for this kind of work to sustain an individual for their entire income…. and it is getting smaller every year. Maybe not as much as people think it is- 2D will never go away (unlike Dangerfield T__T)- but you need to find it in other places than the cinema or television, think outside the box, and take advantage of it.

  • Warhead

    A CGI Bone movie? That sounds… wretched. I mean, did the producers even take a proper look at the comics? Oh, and the animation studio doing this is TERRIBLY miscast. Did I look at Happy Feet and think of Bone’s style? NO. Jeff Smith clearly took inspiration from Disney animation for the Bone brothers. If this is done in the same realistic style as Happy Feet, it’s bound to anger fans everywhere.

  • Andrew Kaiko

    Oh. And Rafael Rosado, I remember that animation. I can’t find it on YouTube though.

  • stavner

    2D isn’t dead yet. There are still 2D movies being made.

    And most TV shows are in 2D.

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin Freitas

    Looks like fun. Keep 2D alive!

    Between 2005-2010, there have been exactly 3 hand-drawn animated features that have received a major release in the United States. They are Curious George ($58 mil), The Simpsons Movie ($183 mil) and The Princess and the Frog ($104 mil). Despite what Hollywood would like you to believe, there is absolutely no evidence that hand-drawn films consistently underperform against CG films because hand-drawn films don’t exist in any measurable scale in today’s Hollywood feature market. They replaced one technique over the other on the assumption that they knew what audiences want to see.

    Well said Amid! I’m printing this out and framing it above my computer :)

  • VinceP

    Wow, great animation Andrew! It was really a lot of fun. Very clever to add in the video game voices too!

    I really enjoyed the original Bone, it felt very much to me like a grand passion project, and that was really fun to be a part of as a reader.

    I agree that if Jeff Smith sticks to the original style and concept for Bone, I doubt it will work well in 3D. At the same time, he is going to have to adapt the script and a great number of other things to make the transition from comic to film, and while he is doing that maybe he can find a new angle on Bone and really make 3D work for him in a way that is different from the original comic? Maybe I’m being optimistic?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I do think I’d like to see this more in hand-drawn 2-D myself, but if they can pull it off in 3-D, by all means (as long as the story works and doesn’t drag it in the mud like so many efforts). For years I sorta pictured wanting to see Bone treated more like a direct-to-video sort of series depending on how the market would handle such a release outside the theaters. Shame they’re not going this route otherwise.

  • purin

    So that’s why Bone, a graphic novel with a style that just screams 2D animation, is being done in 3D!

    I suppose that also explains why the highly popular animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender, done in the style of a very popular genre of animation, with its own developed universe and canon, that ended with hints of untread story, was considered better off made into a whitewashed live action retelling starting from the beginning that jumbles the canon around and replaces well loved characters with different faces and voices.

    (Let’s see, I do recall seeing some articles on how there’s always lots of evidence to refute what investors say is tried and true, but they’d still chalk it up to being a freak accident of the movie world, because they have to be right all the time)

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Niffiwan

    I’m not very impressed by that little 2D clip, to be honest. The acting is far too exaggerated, and I don’t much like the line quality and colour scheme.

  • http://selcouthblog.blogspot.com Mesterius

    The Bone Movie should be hand-drawn, and I still wish it could simply be directed as that by Jeff Smith himself – as the original plan was a decade ago before Britney (ugh!) got into things.

    You can say what you like about good CGI – and the CGI for Bone better be REALLY good! – but there is still no way that tecnique is gonna capture the simplistic charm, the wonderful ink lines and the amazing mood of Jeff Smith’s line drawings. You need hand-drawn animation to have a chance of doing that. I hope this will be a great CGI movie. But I hope this while knowing that hand-drawn could have made it even greater.

    Like so many other comics-based movies over the last few years, Bone isn’t getting the tecnique treatment it deserves. (Another prime example in the live-action booth is of course The Spirit, which should no doubt have been hand-drawn… and, preferably written and directed by Brad Bird.)

  • Justin

    I imagined much different voices while reading the book.

  • NC

    Am I the only one who thinks that a live-action 2D hybrid would be fun? It seemed to me that was kind of what was going on in the graphic novel. It would explain why stylistic bone people were existing with more realistic looking people. I agree if it’s to be fully animated than 2D would capture the style best but otherwise I think a “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” treatment would be a lot of fun.

    Also, did Jeff ever pitch it to Pixar? I would suspect that Lasseter, out of respect for Jeff, would try to have it produced, probably under the Disney name, the way Jeff would want it.

  • Mike Johnson

    As a Bone-ified Bone fanatic since the first issue hit the stands way back when, I have been following with much interest the development of the Bone film. As many others have stated, I agree that 2D animation would be best suited to the look of the comics. This being said, and realizing that animation IS a business, and not a communal love-fest, I can understand why CGI has won out. Although I mourn that fact, I have always felt quite fond of Bone, and have given away more copies to friends and co-workers than I care to admit in order to introduce them to what I feel is one of the greatest comic book series of the 20th century.

    Since the VAST majority of the movie going public don’t know BONE from a hole in the ground, I’d be happy if the film were good enough to inspire people to seek out the original comic series, which could never really be fully justified with any type of animation, IMHO.
    If the CGI Bone were to prove better than we are expecting, well…that would be icing on the cake. Either way, Jeff Smith has created something as memorable and lasting as any comic character you could name, and I will always be thankful for that, no matter how the film turns out…

  • http://www.johnbludwick.com John B. Ludwick

    I don’t blame producers and investors for wanting to go with something that will give them a return on their millions. It is true that 2D films cost too much to make (that’s the fault of animators), but there is a heavy skew to numbers quoted in this whole “CG vs. 2D”. To elaborate on Amid’s words above to doctorquinn,

    The Simpsons Movie
    Cost: 75 mil
    Grossed: 183.1 mil

    Curious George
    Cost: 50 mil
    Gross: 58.4 mil

    The Princess and the Frog
    Cost: 105 mil
    Gross: 104.4 mil

    Okay. Here’s twice that number of CG pictures, released in the years cited:

    Robots
    Cost: 75 mil
    Gross: 128.2 mil

    Valiant
    Cost: 35 mil
    Gross: 19.5 mil

    Chicken Little
    Cost: 150 mil
    Gross: 135.4 mil

    The Wild
    Cost: 80 mil
    Gross: 37.4 mil

    The Polar Express
    Cost: 165m
    Gross: 162.8 mil

    The Ant Bully
    Cost: 50 mil
    Gross: 28 mil

    This is 2-minute research from Box Office Mojo, and I don’t see anything in that list that says “… in the years 2005-2010, with most if not all of the CGI movies that bested them costing much less to produce”, and yet – they’re made anyway. Could it be that the sheer number of them plays the odds and guarantees their success at some point? I think so.
    People care most about content, and for whatever reason, the culture of 3D seems to have revised many of the expectations which trap 2D animation: musical stories, for one – the inclusion of left brain executives in the Story Dept. to name another.
    CG over 2D is not a fact – any logically-thinking person can see that.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I really love Ted’s voice at the end of the clip, it really suits the character.

    Of course this is not a big budget animation. Considering it’s fan art I think it’s pretty cool. The human characters could be a little better and the coloring is maybe too bright, but I dig the animation of the bones.

    I also wanted to see it in a 2D movie. This is kind of a chicken and egg situation, if they don’t do many 2D movies we’ll never know how do they work with the audience. A well done Bone movie could be a big hit even in 2D, after all it has elements of epic fantasy which is a popular genre.

    What I find weird about the movie is that they talked about using motion capture, which seems quite odd for this project. CGI itself is not so bad, if the bones were animated like the characters of Horton or Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs it could be good, and the human characters could even work better in CGI (drawing and animating “realistic” humans has always been hard in 2D, and though the human characters in Bone are not realistic, they are not extreme caricatures either). But if I had to choose I would go for 2D, of course, cause that seems the most adequate look for the three main characters.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Those giving negative feedback have utterly missed the point here.
    Andrew’s efforts are top notch.
    Well done.

  • mat

    I’m a big bone fan and would like to see a movie version. I don’t care if it’s 2-d, cgi, live action, or still-motion, i just want a good script!

    There were more then 3 2d films released by the way. Ponyo, the naruto films, and a few others got big-screen releases but they didn’t get much ads on tv.

  • Zach Cole

    @doctorquinn

    I know this is old, but…
    There were only three hand drawn films. That’s not even fair. You can’t judge the performance of one technique in the last 5 years if it barely got a chance.

  • Brosef

    Great animation! I love the way you worked with the Bone’s.

    Thorn almost looks rotomated – did you rotomate her?

    Grandma and Thorn need more age appropriate sounding voices. Grandma sounds like a young lady trying to sound old, and Thorn sounds like a vapid little girl.

    The music needs to go. Too 80′s Saturday-morning sounding.

  • Mike

    Great animation Andrew!

    I am a big fan of Bone, and would much prefer a hand drawn, 2D version. I just hate the thought of seeing a film that doesn’t utilize Jeff Smith’s wonderful use of line work. I will withhold judgement on 3D until I see tests, but I’m skeptical.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com FloydBishop

    “It’s a pathetic state of affairs when a cartoon creator, who understands his work best, is denied the technique of his choice because of unfounded beliefs about the financial performance of one particular animation technique over the other.”

    It’s equally pathetic to see an animation blog totally discount an entire production and the work of hundreds of artists because of the animation technique chosen for said production.

    “…their interpretation will likely be all kinds of unwatchable.”

    The air must be pretty thin up there on that high horse. “Happy Feet” was a solid film. It may not be your cup of tea, but it was obviously watchable by millions of people, including the Academy, who awarded it the Oscar.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    >>I’m a big bone fan and would like to see a movie version. I don’t care if it’s 2-d, cgi, live action, or still-motion, i just want a good script!>>

    I don’t know. The look could really be a decisive factor. If the CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks movies had an award winning script, would they be so pleasant to watch like The Chipmunk Adventure?

    I love The Smurfs in the comics but I can’t watch the realistic CGI smurfs they are planning to use in the new movie. Neil Patrick Harris says the script is smart and maybe it’s not just promotion and it’s true-unlikely, but it could be true. Even if that happens I won’t feel the urge to watch it. I’m not saying I’ll never watch it, but I most certainly won’t watch it at theaters.

    Some things just work better in traditional cartoons.

    So if they use CGI or motion capture in the Bone movie, I really hope they don’t give the bones realistic eyes or any realistic feature at all cause that would ruin the whole thing automatically.

  • Lamont Wayne

    Here’s the really sad thing, all due respect to Jeff. He turned Nickelodeon down years ago because they wanted to include a pop song in the movie. But he caves on 3D instead of 2D.

    No song, but making the movie look completely different from the comic is just fine…

  • erlab

    Lamont, he turned down MORE than just pop songs! Nickelodeon wanted to change the story, up the magical side, give the Bone cousins kids’ voices, and wanted Britney Spears to voice Thorn, all to appeal more toward children.

  • Whitey

    Wow! I think this would make a SICK series!
    This is what Bone should be made into, in my opinion.

  • joeyjojo

    Can we stop this “there were only three hand-drawn animated films in the last five years” thing?

    Last year alone had two nominated movies that were hand-drawn and didn’t even nominate ‘Ponyo’ — right, the one by Hayao Miyazaki, whose movies gross hundreds of millions around the world and can’t scrape together $10 million in the USA. ‘Secret of Kells’ couldn’t even gross a million.

    “You can’t judge the performance of one technique in the last 5 years if it barely got a chance.”

    That’s a fair point. Let’s journey back to 2000-2005 [prior to that, there wouldn't be enough CGI films to fairly compare]
    sticking to America, merely due to laziness
    Shrek 2 – 2004 – $441 mil
    Finding Nemo – 2003 – $339 mil
    Shrek – 2001 – $267 mil
    The Incredibles – 2004 – $261 mil
    Monsters Inc – 2001 – $255 mil
    Madagascar – 2005 – $193 mil
    The Polar Express – 2004 – $181 mil
    Ice Age – 2002 – $176 mil
    Shark Tale – 2004 – $160 mil

    all those before a single hand-drawn example
    Lilo and Stitch – 2002 – $145 mil
    The Emporer’s New Groove – 2000 – $89 mil
    The Spongebob Squarepants Movie – 2004 – $85 mil
    Brother Bear – 2003 – $85 mil
    Atlantis: The Lost Empire – 2001 – $84 mil
    Rugrats in Paris – 2000 – $76 mil
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – 2002 – $73 mil
    The Road to El Dorado – 2000 – $50 mil
    Home on the Range – 2004 – $50 mil

    so, in the same time period, Disney (with one exception) couldn’t crack the $100 mil ceiling; established child-friendly franchises like Pokemon, Rugrats, and Spongebob couldn’t crack $100 mil.

    I’ll grant you it’s not entirely fair, but the high profile failures of such movies as ‘The Iron Giant’ (despite being *amazing* and beloved) and ‘Titan A.E.’ … you can’t just ignore this as if it didn’t happen.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    OK, considering the fact we all know BONE is a great 2d movie in an alternate dimension where CGI is not dominant, if anyone HAS to make a BONE movie in 3D I’m incredibly stoked on ANIMAL LOGIC. HAPPY FEET is unwatchable? Get real – its one of the most cinematic CG films ever made. Going with one of the top CG studios who have a great track record of maintaining the vision of a film’s creator (HAPPY FEET is a George Miller film 100% and that owl movie looks like a Zack Snyder film through and through) is dropping the ball how? This is going to look GREAT and will probably stick to Jeff Smith’s vision just fine. Can’t wait for the BONE-centric retelling of MOBY DICK. Will be awesome.

  • Ross

    This is the most negative website I have ever seen, and I’ve been on 4chan. How about instead of automatically pissing about a comic book adaptation that will be made using CGI as opposed to traditional animation, you wait until you see the first production still? Maybe you could wait for a trailer before you decry the movie as unwatchable. I don’t know- just don’t jump to conclusions about a movie that is still in pre-production. You don’t even know what the graphics are going to look like- for all you know it could be designed to emulate the look of a 2D movie.

    Jackson Pollock once said that technique is just a means at arriving at a statement. It should not matter what the film looks like, because that has no bearing on how good the movie itself will be. Saying that Bone will be unwatchable because it will be CGI is like saying Seven Samurai is unwatchable because it was filmed with a telephoto lens- it’s an asinine statement, because visual style doesn’t change narrative quality. Case in point: My Dinner With Andre- it was a fantastic film, even though you could watch it blindfolded).

    How can you make a living writing about animation if you throw a vitriolic temper tantrum for a movie you haven’t even seen? Amid, you are a critic in the worst sense of the word. Please reserve your judgement until it’s the appropriate time to dispense it- it will make you seem like less of a presumptuous philistine.

  • papashango

    Honestly I dont think the medium matters that much anymore…the lines between traditional and CG have blurred seriously so….
    Ofcourse teh creator not being able to get it done his way…thats def sad..
    but I dont think its going to be a disaster because its in 3d…If the story is good and the script is good…2d or 3d shouldnt really matter…

    Imagine the locusts and Rockjaw in 3d…and in stereo…it will be pure awesomeness……

  • Blue

    I don’t know but as a Bone fan I highly recommend readers see a copy of the Bone flipbook (which I think was published in small run around 1996.) It was put together by Jeff Smith and Disney animator Tom Bancroft. Tom worked at the animation studios at Walt Disney World in Florida back when they were doing the last of Disney traditional hand drawn movies like Mulan and Brother Bear. The flipbook really shows the potential of what Bone could be like in 2D. It is absolutely beautiful, even in black and white. A lot of commenters here think we are being negative, but I think we’re just trying to voice concern over something we love and want the best for Jeff Smith. This movie could either help or hurt the legacy of Bone. I can’t help but worry about it becoming another forgettable CGI cartoon. Look at what they’ve done to classic characters that have had a bigger following and budget like Yogi Bear, The Smurfs, Alvin & The Chipmunks, Garfield, etc. These movies had no real respect for what people originally loved them for. Hollywood tends to ignore fans in hopes to start their own. That’s why we have another Superman reboot and Batman has been played by every actor in the book until Dark Knight came along. It’s not until they realize that what drew fans in the first place is what will continue to draw them. I saw it happen with all the Ninja Turtle reboots in the 90s up until this year when Kevin Eastman came back to start a new comic series at IDW that has been taking it back to it’s roots and is one of the best selling comics right now. There is also a new cartoon and movie in the works with the same concept. If Bone looks like Garfield the movie, it will hurt the series and we’ll have to wait for 3 reboots until someone gets it right.