‘Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis’ in Development at Chalkdust Animation Studios

Last year, it was reported that The C.S. Lewis Company was developing an animated series based on Boxen. Now, Variety has more details:

  • ‘Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis’ is the official title
  • Production will be at Chalkdust Animation Studios, based in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Involvement of Jared Mass, exec. producer of Netflix’s Super Giant Robot Brothers.
  • Official artwork
  • Teases about the animation style

Production of “Boxen” will feature a mix of traditional animation tools, motion capture and cutting-edge software.

“I found the workflow, combining traditional animation tools with the Unreal Engine and live-action mocap, to be like a new art form,” [Jared Mass] explained to Variety during a conversation at this year’s Annecy Festival.
According to Mass, “One thing we really want to do, hopefully by the end of Season One but definitely with Season Two, is bring in a live audience to the stage and have them watch an animated show being filmed, which has never happened in that way before.”


First published in 1985, Boxen was written by C.S. Lewis at 8 years old with his older brother Warnie. The hero of the Boxen stories was a brave mouse named Peter who lived in a medieval country called Animal Land, where animals dressed and spoke like people. Learn more.

“We’re all very big C.S. Lewis fans, so we want to do right by this project. I believe we have a big responsibility to make a show for 4-7-year-olds that stands for something, is entertaining, and that meets the high standards of C.S. Lewis’s work.”

Jared Mass

Don’t miss our Patreon-exclusive podcast, where Glumpuddle and Impending Doom delve into the appeal of Boxen, explore the chances of Lewis being featured as a character, and speculate on Netflix’s potential involvement in distributing the series.

7 Responses

  1. Impending Doom says:

    Very weird + cool to read. Admittedly, I have very little attachment to Boxen but I’m surprisingly excited to see how this develops and turns out.

    The article on Variety says the show is aimed at “4-7 year olds” which makes sense given Lewis wrote the stories around those ages.

  2. Cleander says:

    I would not have expected them to go the Unreal Engine/CGI route with this… it’ll probably have the look of a Pixar movie.

  3. Forrest says:

    Personally, I was hoping for something a little more grown up. Sounds like they’re going for a very young demographic/look-and-feel. Despite Lewis writing these stories when he was a child, it doesn’t follow that they are stories “for children.” Nor do stories for children have to be childish. It’s been a minute since I read Boxen, but as I recall it was full of wars and political machinations. I don’t know that this project will have much to do with the actual juvenilia Lewis wrote.

  4. coracle says:

    I’m sorry but I am not excited about this. I think it’s a bad move. Boxen is not written by a 4-7 year old, but by an 8-year-old, with his older brother. It is a child’s view of the world, with battles, politics, and the language of middle class children from over a century ago. It’s not a story for children, and certainly not for preschoolers.
    I read it once at a library, could see it wasn’t anything like Narnia, and would have been bored if I hadn’t known something about the two children who compiled it together. It is mere juvenilia.

  5. Reepicheep775 says:

    This is honestly a bizarre decision. I’ve read Boxen a couple times and it… is not good. Obviously it was written by a child so I didn’t go into it expecting great stories, but most things written by children are at least fun. The Boxen stories are dry as toast, full of politics and boring conversations inspired by what Lewis overheard adults saying as a child. It’s nothing like the masterpieces he would write as an adult. If they adapted the stories faithfully, it would bore children to tears. If they don’t adapt it faithfully, what’s the point? I can’t even use the name recognition excuse because who has even heard of Boxen outside of Lewis nerds like us? I’m perplexed. XD

  6. Master Clinic says:

    There’s simply no need for this. But one can hope it’s worthwhile and merits having ‘C.S. Lewis’ and ‘Chronicles’ in the title…

  7. For a little breakdown of my opinion on this:
    Negatives/confusions: Why is it for preschoolers/young primary schoolers? Most will not likely have heard of Lewis, besides small introductions to Narnia. They will almost definitely not have heard of Boxen.
    The people most interested in the subject of Boxen will be C S Lewis aficionados who have read parts of his biographies or investigated his wider bibliography.
    So I guess the marketing about Narnia and Lewis is for the parents. A bit like for the LWW board book.

    Positives/Excitements: It is wonderful that we are getting a Boxen adaptation at all. And another creative company is investing time and money into exploring the worlds of C S Lewis 😉