If I were to describe Wishbone, the PBS series that ran from 1996-2001, to some but not extreme acclaim, it would sound like a dud. A Jack Russell Terrier barking and narrating his way through literary classics while tweens negotiated analogous real-world situations is an idea destined for the scrap bin. But for some reason, it just worked.
Wishbone ruled. The dog was an amazing actor. It was fun. Most importantly, you learned about a classic book in, like, 12 minutes. There's an art to making kids expand their minds without realizing they're doing so. This show did it with aplomb and ease.
So it is with great joy we read that there's to be a feature film treatment produced by Peter Farrelly.
“Wishbone” is the first theatrical film collaboration between Mattel and Universal Pictures, and the ninth Mattel Films project in the works. Mattel Films will produce “Wishbone” alongside Academy Award winner Peter Farrelly. Roy Parker will write the script. Executive producer Robbie Brenner and supervising producer Kevin McKeon will lead the project for Mattel Films, and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the pic for Universal.
A fresh new take on an old dog classic. Not to tell Farrelly how to do his job but it makes a ton of sense to have a grown-up Joe with a young child. Maybe he married Sam. David lives in the neighborhood. Damont, well, Damont is serving a life sentence somewhere.
New Wishbone can be like the grandson of original Wishbone. Or maybe original Wishbone lives forever. He should live forever. Thinking about a dead Wishbone is profoundly depressing actually.
There will be plenty of time to revisit all 50 television episodes before they even begin filming at this pace. That means plenty of time to get intensely nostalgic about the time we learned about The Count of Monte Crisco or The Purloined Letter. And ample opportunity for those involved to understand that there absolutely must be a heavy educational component to the finished product.
Now, at this point you might be thinking, surely there's no way all the episodes are online, in order, in all their original standard-definition glory. Well, think again, pal.
They probably want some breakout text to go with this blog post so here goes nothing: Wishbone is perhaps the most overlooked and under-appreciated television show in the last 25 years. This news is long overdue yet still life-affirming.