Johnny Hart’s classic newspaper strip B.C., which follows the adventures of a prehistoric bunch of goofballs, is being developed as an animated feature.

The film, B.C. — Back to Civilization, is intended as an all-ages family film (a ‘four-quadrant’ title in industry talk). The finished film is being eyed for early 2021 release.

Redwood City, California-based Parallax Media Ventures is developing the film with John Hart Studios. Founded in 2015, Parallax is led by industry veteran Kevin Richardson, a former executive and senior producer at Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts, and Mattel Interactive, with other credits at Lucasfilm, Hyperion, Colossal, Wang Films Taiwan, MS Films Germany, Kingkey Animation China, and most recently Studio Climb Malaysia.

B.C. is an American classic like apple pie and baseball,” says Richardson. “Sixty years strong, the daily strip runs in over 800 North American newspapers – newspapers with a reach of 64.4 million readers. This gives us a tremendous connection to the fans, and allows us to expand B.C. to an on-screen and off-screen experience…Thanks to the time-tested and quirky ensemble, there’s no shortage of fun material to work with.”

“B.C.” concept artwork. Image courtesy Parallax Media Ventures. (“B.C.” ©/TM Ida Hart Trust. All Rights Reserved.)

The B.C. comic today remains a family affair. Hart’s grandsons Mason and Mick continue to create the strip, and Hart’s daughter Perri is the colorist and letterer.

Parallax has pulled together an experienced team of film veterans to develop the property. The artists involved in the development of the film:

  • Concept illustration by Julia Lundman (concept art for Lego, art director on Disney’s Whisker Haven Tales)
  • Art direction and look development by Claus Dzalakowski (director on Bubble Guppies, ovesrseas animation supervisor on FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue)
  • Story artist Dave Fulp (35-year veteran with credits at Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros. and Universal)
  • Story artist Mike Cachuela (30-year veteran with story development experience on The Nightmare Before Christmas, Toy Story, The Incredibles, The Secret Life of Pets, and Coraline)
  • Story consultant Jim Beihold (30-year veteran with credits as layout artist on Tarzan and The Little Mermaid, and story artist on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe)
  • Animation pipeline/previs Jaikumar Balasubramanian (credits on productions at Technicolor, Nickelodeon, Disney, and Sony Imageworks)

Parallax and Hart Studios will be presenting the project to interested parties next week at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. A pitch reel with storyboard images and concept paintings is available for private viewing by potential partners and financiers.

“B.C.” concept artwork. Image courtesy Parallax Media Ventures. (“B.C.” ©/TM Ida Hart Trust. All Rights Reserved.)

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