U2’s lead singer, Bono, is working on a punk rock version of Peter and the Wolf for Max.
Max, previously known as HBO Max, and Cartoon Network have approved production of an animated short film based on the classic tale, Peter and the Wolf, according to Deadline. The movie will feature narration and music by Gavin Friday, with artwork inspired by original illustrations by U2’s front man, Bono. The project aims to modernize Sergei Prokofiev’s symphony and tackles themes such as growth, courage, transformation, loss, and our bond with nature.
Peter and the Wolf is set to debut later this year and is part of a continued partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation, a national charity that provides assistance to those dealing with death and bereavement. Musician and composer Gavin Friday is leading the project, lending his voice to the retelling of the classic story. The Friday Seezer-Ensemble will perform Prokofiev’s score, which has been newly arranged by Friday and Maurice Seezer.
Meanwhile, the visuals showcased in Peter and the Wolf draw inspiration from Bono’s artwork from the book of the same name, which includes 64 pages of his original paintings. The animated short utilizes a combination of traditional hand-drawn 2D animation and a physical set-built world, replicating the book’s visual style. The team behind the short film collaborated closely with the Irish Hospice Foundation during production, seeking their counsel on accurately and respectfully conveying the tale’s poignant themes of grief and loss.
Additionally, Blink Industries created a mixed-media approach for the production of Peter and the Wolf. The technique was aimed at capturing Bono’s original illustrative designs and creating an immersive and atmospheric monochromatic world for Peter and his cohorts. The result was a tangible and engaging visual experience for viewers.
Just as in the book Peter and the Wolf, which Bono, Gavin Friday and The Friday-Seezer Ensemble, and Sergei Prokofiev all collaborated on, the animated short will follow a 12-year-old boy named Peter who is grieving the loss of a parent and is now under the care of his grandfather. After hearing rumors about a wolf roaming free, Peter sets out to find it by exploring the nearby meadow and forest. During his journey, Peter meets various creatures who assist him while also dealing with hunters who are determined to capture the wolf.
According to Michael Ouweleen, President of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family & Boomerang, Gavin’s contemporary interpretation of Peter and the Wolf introduces a distinctive blend of “fearlessness and style” that was previously unseen. He believes this punk rock-inspired version of the classic tale will appeal to a wide audience. Oueweleen also expressed his gratitude for Bono and Gavin’s trust in their ability to showcase their work.
Friday and Bono explained that the central themes of “vigilance, bravery, and resilience” in the original symphony are still featured prominently in their contemporary rendition of Peter and the Wolf, but with the added themes of “loss, redemption, and recovery.” They aspire that this new version of the classic story will offer solace to children grappling with bereavement while simultaneously immersing them in the music universe of Prokofiev. Their innovative interpretation reimagines a traditional fairy tale and aims to provide a captivating and therapeutic experience for young audiences.