An Animated Walking Dead Series Would Be A Tough Sell (Despite Comic Creator’s Approval) – News Today

An Animated Walking Dead Series Would Be A Tough Sell (Despite Comic Creator’s Approval)

Robert Kirkman shared that animation would be best for a faithful Walking Dead adaptation, but the AMC show’s appeal could make this difficult.

Custom image of Daryl Dixon from AMC's Walking Dead with comic book images of Rick Grimes around him


  • An animated series of The Walking Dead would differ significantly from the live-action AMC series, excluding beloved characters and relationships from the TV adaptation.
  • Robert Kirkman, the comic creator, has expressed an animated adaptation of The Walking Dead would be most faithful to the comics, with his animated series adaptation of Invincible as a precedent.
  • While the live-action series has deviated from the comics, allowing for the creation of popular characters and spinoffs, an animated adaptation would provide a more faithful version of the story and address relationships left unexplored.

An animated series of The Walking Dead might be a challenge after 11 seasons of storytelling in the live-action AMC series, even though the comic creator Robert Kirkman has voiced his approval of a potential faithful adaptation. The Walking Dead comics span 193 issues, with the last main plotline being about a world much different than fans of the show are used to, since an adult Carl Grimes and his wife Sophia and daughter Andrea live in the Commonwealth. This provides a glimpse into how an animated series’ plot would differ from the AMC series.

Kirkman’s animated adaptation of the Invincible comic series sets a precedent. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that Kirkman says a faithful Walking Dead comic adaptation would be best as an animation. This isn’t to say he disapproves of any changes from the Walking Dead comics in the live-action series. He admitted some parts of the show that most excite him are the ones that deviate from the comics. Whether an animated series came to be, the large fan support for the live-action Walking Dead‘s show-only elements would pose a challenge.

Daryl Dixon holding his crossbow in The Walking Dead Daryl Dixon episode 5
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The Animated Walking Dead Series Would Be Too Different From The AMC Series

Beloved characters and relationships from the live-action adaptation would be excluded.

The Walking Dead deviates from the comics throughout the 11 seasons. For instance, Judith and Lori are shot down by a soldier during The Governor’s invasion in the comics, which means Cailey Fleming’s Judith is show-only, as well as RJ’s character. Furthermore, a major relationship that wouldn’t be included is Rick and Michonne’s. Their popularity is clear since they are leading an upcoming spinoff The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Other character additions include Beth and Sasha, meaning audiences would miss out on Daryl and Beth’s dynamic, Sasha and Tyreese’s sibling relationship, and Sasha’s sacrifice, which is one of the most unexpected ways to save the day in The Walking Dead, since she helped distract Negan so Rick’s group could attack. Most notably, Daryl is an AMC creation, so his actions – like setting fire to the lake to save Alexandria – wouldn’t have happened. Because of this and Carol’s early death in the comics, their fan-favorite friendship wouldn’t exist either. Thus, AMC’s deviations helped facilitate spinoffs centered around popular characters and storylines, like Carol joining Daryl Dixon season 2.

The three main upcoming Walking Dead spinoff characters: Rick & Michonne, Daryl Dixon, and Negan & Maggie.
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One Reason The Animated Walking Dead Series Could Still Be A Hit

As a more faithful adaptation, the show would provide an alternate version of the story.

Rick Grimes and Carl Grimes The Walking Dead

While it’s clear the live-action Walking Dead was able to build relationships and characters fans still gravitated toward, some behind-the-scenes factors may have hurt the momentum of these stories. Namely, major fan-favorite characters were written out of the series, whether by request or otherwise. For instance, Carl dies in season 8, whereas he lives long into adulthood and features in the most recent issue of the comics. Rick leaves in season 9, yet he’s actively involved in the Whisperer War in the comics. An animated Walking Dead series that’s faithful to the comics could allow fans to watch alternate stories play out more conclusively.

Additionally, there’s the added benefit of animation being much less impacted by the actors’ schedules since the visual elements of the show would not be dependent on them. Moreover, the faithful comic adaptation would also be able to address relationships left unexplored, such as Jesus and Aaron’s. While The Walking Dead‘s animated series could be interesting because it can explore untapped stories, the popularity of the characters and relationships from the live-action and the spinoffs that resulted from it could make the animation a risk, especially without enough demand.

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