Interview and an experience of a life time with Peter S. Beagle

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Peter S. Beagle, author of the cult classic “The last unicorn”. I could without a doubt say that meeting him was one of the most exiting moments of my life (Except getting married to my husband of course). I don’t know how many times I watched that movie as a child. I had so much to say and so many questions to ask. He patiently answered my questions and I hope he didn’t mind my nervousness. It is not every day you get to meet someone who’s work touched your very essence while growing up. It is a moment I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Anjo: Hello Mr Beagle! Are you enjoying yourself here today?!

Peter S. Beagle: I always do. I’ve been here before and I have a particular fondness of Chicago that’s grown over the years of coming to this particular convention. I can’t explain why. It’s not the New York where I grew up in. But It feels like it, maybe it’s simply because it’s an old city, I don’t know. But I do like being here.

Mr Beagle signing my Blu Ray!

Anjo: What was your inspiration for this particular movie/book


Peter S. Beagle: One thing I can never help, never keep from mentioning growing up in a family of artists, the word you never heard around the place was inspiration. Just didn’t come up. You didn’t wait for inspiration, you got up, got breakfast and went to work like everyone else. As far as the last unicorn goes, it really started the summer that I was sharing a cabin in Berkshire, with one of my three oldest childhood friends who was a painter. He’d go out to paint, working on landscape all day, with his landscapes strapped on the back of his motor scooter. And  I wanted to show him literally that I was working on something, not just fooling around laying in the sun, it was a beautiful summer of 1962. So I started messing around on the typewriter, which made to be something that was a beginning, but only the beginning of the last unicorn.

Just because he was working all day, I wanted to show him that I was too. When we got together a couple of years ago, we are both musicians, to playing a benefit for the gallery where hes a curator. I explained why I started the last unicorn and he burst out laughing saying “I always hated that damn landscape and just kept on working on it but just wanted to go back to the cabin were I was working”. Complete misunderstanding on both sides.

Anjo: I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it coming out on blu-ray, simply because most cartoons,/ movies that I grew up with as a little girl usually do not make it into the new wave, new generation and the new medium. I am happy to see that people realize the value of this classic tale that will continue to entertain for years to come.

(Connor Cochran AKA Peters wonderful lackey)

Connor Cochran: I work with Peter, Lionsgate, the American distributor for the last unicorn so, told a story before the blu-ray came out. It went like this. There was a thing in the home video sale called sales curve. That they take the first week and plugged it in the curve, then you will know exactly how many copies you’ve sold in a month, six months, a year and it works on every thing, from Oscar movies to slasher movies. They all follow the sales curve. except, in 15 year in the business they have seen 3 exceptions, they’ve all ignored sales curve entirely. They were barbie videos, leapfrog videos based on the educational product and the last unicorn and he couldn’t explain the last unicorn. They understood that Barbie and leapfrog products were a part of big companies that had huge advertising but the last unicorn just sold and sold and sold, and every week,  literally only thing depended on how many where in stock that week. It was like clockwork, the same number every week for years. They don’t know why, they are just very happy about it.

Anjo: One of my favorite parts in that movie is when the unicorn was turned human, and the sudden realization that she said, that she was dying. It scared me a bit as a child because I thought she was going to drop dead, right then and there, but it turned out that it was the aging process because prior to becoming human, she was an immortal. How did you come up with that part?

Peter S. Beagle: I can’t really tell you, it’s simply one of those things that simply happens, I didn’t know,  writing the book , really I had no plans on turning her human. It just happened. Sometimes you can plan this 85% of the time , carefully, knowing what you mean to do and with some notion on how you want to do it. And then there is that 10 or 15% that just comes out of nowhere. You watch it writing it self down, it was wonderful. At that time i did not know what would become with the unicorns. I was gambling to find out. Here it just, it just seemed natural, never really any question about it when I started doing it.

Anjo: I always wondered, how did they breath under water?

Peter S. Beagle: That, I never thought about one way of the other. I’ll tell you an odd thing though. I did the pilot script for the series, the little mermaid, simply became a Saturday morning cartoon and the very first story I was given to work on had to do with the little mermaid adopting orphan killer whales, an orca and for all practical purposes they were breathing like a fish. I’ve had a fascination with whales since I was small. I let the Disney people know even children know these days that whales are a mammal. So the whale have to come up to the surface to breath every so often.
And the answer I got was; You do the script and we answer the letters of the children; always wondered how many they got.

Anjo: I would actually love to see a letter that a child sent in, in regards to that.

Peter and Connor, thank you for this moment. It was truly a pleasure and I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the event!

Original article is posted on http://www.gamertagradio.com

2 comments on “Interview and an experience of a life time with Peter S. Beagle

    • It was wonderful to be able to see him and experience that energy for myself. He articulated himself in a way that made you feel like the outside world stopped for a second. During that second an experience of a lifetime and a unique way of thinking existed. It’s hard to explain, it was simply, unforgettable. I can only thank him for giving me the opportunity to experience it. I am glad that he has a friend like you that appreciates what he contributes to this world, give him my best regards and my thanks.

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