Media property development company Fitzroy Media (FRM) has tapped Renegade Animation to produce a series of new projects featuring Heathcliff, the mischievous, street-wise cat of comic-strip fame. This month, Renegade will begin production of 50 two-minute animated interstitials that will introduce an updated look for the time-honored tabby and his back-alley pals. Animated feature films, direct-to-DVD releases and location-based entertainment projects will follow.
The Heathcliff comic strip was created in 1973 by George Gately, whose nephew, Peter Gallagher, now writes and draws the comics.
‘We’re going to dust off this classic kitty, throw him in the tub, scrub behind his ears and get rid of those old fleas,’ says Gallagher. ‘Heathcliff’s many loyal fans are going to be thrilled, and he is certain to find an even wider audience with all-new shenanigans in the 21st century.’
To reach today’s adult and ‘tween viewers, the property reboot will blend comedy with a hip, club-music sound. The first major project to get the green light is a direct-to-DVD movie. The work is being overseen by Renegade animation director Darrell Van Citters, whose credits include the animated feature Christmas Is Here Again (starring Ed Asner and Kathy Bates) and the Cartoon Network series Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and Captain Sturdy.