Friday, December 26, 2014

A Long Way From Bill Melendez

Bill Melendez Productions had a lock on Charles M. Schulz's comic creation, but not anymore:

... Welcome to the new television Peanuts series, en francais. (Translation: "We're going to have a good doctor-patient relationship, or I'm going to slug you! Do you understand?") Debuting last month, these 500 cartoon shorts featuring the iconic American characters are being scripted, animated and broadcast only in France.

While that might seem like a puzzling choice to American audiences, the move is part of an ambitious business strategy to bring Peanuts to new generations of children around the world. Those plans also include a computer-animated feature film scheduled to open in 2015. ...

Bill Melendez Studios, south of Paramount Pictures in Parchment, was headquartered for decades in three small residential houses that sat side-by-side a half block from the business district.

Bill Melendez, owner and operator of BMS, animated and directed scores of Peanuts specials, commercials and television half-hours. There were also Garfield specials and Cathy specials. (Bill also made a pitch to adapt Calvin and Hobbes, but creator Bill Watterson said no.)

Charles Schulz liked the way that Bill Melendez drew his characters, but Bill and Mr. Schulz are dead. Time grinds on, and the Normaal Studios in France now create television shows with Linus, Lucy and Charlie Brown.


Site Meter