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Dear Mr. Watterson

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Frequently Bought Together

Dear Mr. Watterson + Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and his Revolutionary Comic Strip
Price for both: $28.71

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Product Details

  • Actors: Berkeley Breathed, Bill Amend, Stephan Pastis, Seth Green
  • Directors: Joel Allen Schroeder
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Gravitas Ventures
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2014
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KBES0Y8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,817 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Calvin & Hobbes took center stage immediately when it appeared in newspaper comics across the country in 1985. The funny pages were a big part of popular culture, and it was hard to find a comics reader who didn’t like Calvin & Hobbes. A decade later, when Bill Watterson retired his strip, millions of readers felt the void left by the sudden departure of Calvin and his tiger, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement. In his retirement, as he did during his career, Mr. Watterson has steadfastly declined to license his beloved Calvin and Hobbes characters for any wider commercial purposes, a principled decision that left perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. It has now been 18 years since the end of the Calvin & Hobbes era. Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during this time, living a very private life in Ohio. Despite his quiet lifestyle, he is remembered and appreciated daily by fans who still enjoy his amazing collection of work. Dear Mr. Watterson is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his 'simple' comic strip has made such an impact on so many readers, and why it still means so much to us today.

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Customer Reviews

The background music was repetitive, but not pervasive, so it's possible to ignore it.
Jonathan Isaac
Not a deep, academic look at the strip, this is a love letter to Watterson, thanking him for characters that have become so important to those who share their world.
Robert Grover
It's a shame because clearly a lot of money was spent on this film and some interesting people interviewed.
S. H. Murray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Al on November 19, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
"Dear Mr. Watterson" is part documentary, part love letter, about the popular and beloved comic strip "Calvin And Hobbes" that ran in newspapers for a decade from 1985-1995. The strip was about life seen through the eyes of a trouble-making, yet philosophical six-year-old boy named Calvin and his friend, Hobbes. Hobbes, who existed as no more than a stuffed animal to others, was a real, breathing, talking tiger when only Calvin was present. They loved to play together, argue with and conspire with each other, but they were first and foremost best friends. When the strip ended on December 31st, 1995 (a day I remember far too well), millions were saddened that they could no longer follow the continuing adventures of a unique boy and his most amazing companion.

Joel Allen Schroeder is the film's director, but he's also the narrator/host. As the latter, Schroeder has a laid-back, restrained, style. He seems content to let others be the center of focus and to allow the material to fascinate us on its own merit. This seems to work pretty well.

Bill Watterson has been well known for his desire for privacy, so it comes as no surprise that he doesn't participate in this film. However, the movie still features an unusually large number of interview subjects, and many of them are established comic strip artists who both praise Watterson and talk of his lasting influence on their trade. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them talk about a man whom they've never met, yet greatly respect. They share the kind of interesting thoughts that are unique to that profession. The film also features a number of interviews of people-without-names whose primary function apparently is to fawn over Calvin & Hobbes on-camera.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Britton on January 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Overall, the movie is a bit slow. But this is a documentary, not a children’s story or a narrative based on a comic strip. It is a history and point of view piece on one of the most influential artists and comic strips of our time, Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. For anyone who loves Calvin & Hobbes, this was an important documentary. For any true fan of the comic strip craft, this is a must see.

I was in college when C&H first hit the newspapers. I recognized that young boy as my former self almost immediately and I, along with my friends, became engrossed in his daily misadventures. I think many of us feel our generation is the only one who can relate to Calvin & Hobbes. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from the film that there's a younger generation who love C&H – and they weren't even alive when it was originally published!

I was hoping that since this was a major film production that we'd hear from and/or see Bill Watterson and to get his explanation for ending the beloved comic strip. It was disappointing that Watterson never did make an appearance in the film.

Throughout the film, many comic strip artists are interviewed. As a lifelong fan of the comic strip art form, meeting those people who bring me so much joy was an absolute treat. I especially liked hearing from the comic strip writers and their perspective on so many things – their experience as comic strip creator, their experiences and inspiration from C&H, and their point of view of the industry.

Watterson’s philosophy regarding the art and craft of comic strips is nicely described and the opinions of the other comic strip writers are given.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chad Savage on November 28, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I grew up in my teens & early twenties reading Calvin & Hobbes and saved all the books (which I bought as they were published between 1985-1995). A couple of years ago, I gave the stack of books to my daughter to read and, at age 9(ish), she became a HUGE fan. So it was with great delight that we both watched the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson, which I just happened across on Amazon On Demand. We absolutely loved it (I even got a little choked up) and I can't recommend it highly enough to any of you fellow C&H fans out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andalusian Dog VINE VOICE on December 2, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I was in cartooning class in high school when my friend busted out and showed me the very first Calvin and Hobbes compilation book. I could not get enough. The comic struck a major chord with me. I collected all the books until the very BIG complete 3 volume set came out, then I ditched the small ones for the sake of simplicity. I regret that now. Here we are years later now and I'll likely be ordering a bunch of the small books for my 2 sons, 6 & 12. This documentary had us glued to the TV. We did not surf the web on ipads, we just sat and watched. And when it was over what did we do? I was asked to try and find the few remaining small Calvin and Hobbes books floating around the house. The missing ones are now in my Amazon cart, waiting for "Santa" to deliver them. Whether or not you are an artist or just a reader, Dear Mr. Watterson has something for everyone. It's not obsessive about Bill Watterson either, like some nut banging on J D Salinger's door and demanding answers. It's just a "thank you" of sorts and that fine.

It does attempt to explore Watterson's motivations behind his refusal to commercialize Calvin and Hobbes. This is fine and it does shed some light. To me though, the real question is what is wrong with us as a culture that when someone does not care about money we all sit around scratching our heads endlessly debating why. The focus, if you ask me, should be on us, not Bill Watterson. The ones speculating are the ones that need analyzing. Still, the documentary does not get too obsessive which is nice. It felt very sincere and included enough points of view and info so as to not seem dominated by one single point of view.

In the film some talk about how print comic strips are changing as a result of print in general changing. This is obvious.
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