The strongest bear in the world – Bamse – is going to become an animated movie. Bamse is a highly popular Swedish cartoon character created by Rune Andréasson (1925-1999) in 1966.
“This will be an updated Bamse, but everyone will recognize him and we have taken on this project with a great deal of respect,” says Johan Kindblom, one of the scriptwriters. The film will premiere sometime around Christmas 2013, according to Ola Andréasson, son of Bamse’s creator. As CEO for Bamseförlaget, Ola has continued developing the characters of Bamse and his friends since his father’s passing away. In spite of the continued comic book and several products, something has so far been missing – a full length animated movie.

“Many people have been asking for a movie,” Ola says. “And before my father died we often sat and looked at clips and pilot films. So it feels good that it’s on the way now.” The production company Tre Vänner (Three Friends) has been busy preparing “Bamse och tjuvstaden” (Bamse and the city of thieves) for a month. In the film, Bamse and his friends Skalman (a turtle) and Lille Skutt (a rabbit) get their hands full when Bamse’s grandmother gets kidnapped. Bamse’s grandmother is a central character in the Bamse stories, as she is the only one who can make the super honey called “dunderhonung” that turns Bamse into the world’s strongest bear. In spring 2013, the film will get animated in Taiwan. “It’s important to us to get the real feel of Bamse,” says producer Jon Nohrstedt. “At first we discussed making the backgrounds digitally, but that didn’t seem right. Now all the pictures will be drawn by hand.” When it comes to content, the production has already got a taste of the fears that Bamse might now lose his “soul”. “Yes, well, the animated Pippi Långstrump was no hit. But I feel sure this will be ‘Bamsigt’ as we say,” says Ola. Scriptwriters Johan Kindblom and Tomas Tivemark agree: “The old foundation is there, we work from the Bamse universe that already exists. It’s a lot about what happens to a human being, or an animal, that doesn’t get to belong.”


When Bamse was first created, he was a bit of a left-winger. Says Ola Andréasson: “We say that Bamse is a humanist, but the left-wingers call him a left-winger, though Carl Bildt (the Swedish Moderate party politician) wears a Bamse tie. Many pastors in the Swedish Church say that Bamse follows the first Christian society as described in the Bible. But of course, when the first Bamse comic came out in 1973, there was more of a difference between right and left, there was a war in Vietnam, and everything was political.” And Johan Kindblom adds: “Bamse is about justice.” The film has a budget of 25 million SEK ($3.5 million) and it will be an hour long. It will also be edited to a TV-series to be shown by SVT (Swedish Television). The thought is that there will be more Bamse TV-series in the future, and that the film will also perhaps be sold internationally.
For more on Bamse, see: Bamses officiella sida