HBO Announces Animated Version of Peter and the Wolf

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-04-12)

HBO announced today that they will be presenting an upcoming animated adaptation of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. This new adaptation will be based on the book and performance from 2003 which was narrated by Gavin Friday and illustrated by Bono and his daughters Eve and Jordan. That version of the tale came out in 2003, and 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of its release by Bloomsbury. The book, 64-pages in length, featured paintings by Bono throughout, assisted by his daughters. The audio was narrated by Gavin Friday, and the music performed by Gavin Friday and The Friday-Seezer Ensemble. Proceeds for the original project benefited the Irish Hospice Foundation.

The original fairy tale was written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936. Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a musical symphony as a way to introduce children to the symphony. Over the years the story has been told many times in a variety of formats, including a 1946 short produced by Walt Disney, a comedic version of the story by Weird Al produced in 1988, an adaptation by National Public Radio in 2001, and a recording in 2004 by the Russian National Orchestra which featured Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren as narrators.

The announcement shares that the beloved tale reimagined is coming to HBO Max and The Cartoon Network. A release date is not announced, but they share that the show is ‘coming soon’. Gavin Friday’s site has more information on the announcement, including, “Max and Cartoon Network have greenlit an animated rendition of the beloved classic tale PETER & THE WOLF featuring music and narration by Gavin Friday, and artwork based on original illustrations by Bono. The special transforms Sergei Prokofiev’s much-loved symphony into an enchanting and contemporary visual masterpiece that touches on themes of growing up, loss, courage, transformation, and our relationship with nature. The animated short film is scheduled to premiere later this year and is part of an ongoing relationship with Irish Hospice Foundation.” The project is being led by Gavin Friday.

The special, like the original book, will be narrated by Gavin Friday, with music by The Friday Seezer Ensemble performing Prokofiev’s score, with a new arrangement by Maurice Seezer and Gavin Friday. Animation will be a mix of traditional 2D animation mixed with 3D sets, based on Bono’s original artwork.

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