In 2001, producer and dear friend Leslie Hough called about developing a feature pitch for "The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat", a children's book by Monty Python's Eric Idle, based on the poem by Edward Lear. The audiobook version includes original songs Idle wrote with his "Spamalot" collaborator John DuPrez. There was a whimsicality about it that I liked, so I agreed to help out.
We met John DuPrez at Leslie's house in Laurel Canyon and talked about how we might adapt the story for a feature length film. He offered up a brief history of the project - seems we weren't the first to take a crack at it, or even the second. It's latest stop had been at DreamWorks, where it languished for some time before being killed, leaving Eric a bad taste for animation studios (at least the big ones). Eric and John gave Leslie their blessing to pitch it, but were not going to get involved beyond that.