5 Questions with Peter Beagle


(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Peter Beagle, author of the classic The Last Unicorn.

Originally published in 1968, The Last Unicorn is a fantasy novel about a unicorn who thinks she is the last of her kind and sets out on a quest to discover what happened to the other unicorns. Along the way, she teams up with the magician Schmendrick, gets attacked by the demon Red Bull, becomes human, falls in love, attacks the villainous King Haggard, and saves the kingdom.

Not only is it a classic work of fantasy literature, but the 1982 Rankin-Bass animated film solidified its place in popular culture and became a classic for the 80s generation. Despite the fact that the novel has been in print for more than 45 years, for many people my age, the movie is the only version of the story they know.


In 2011, the story came back in yet another form when IDW published the graphic novel version. If you’ve not taken a look at that, you’re really missing out. It’s stunning. Every page is breathtaking. It was adapted by Peter Gillis and stunningly illustrated by Renae De Liz.

Not to knock the movie, but this is the version that does the story justice. The visuals here blow Rankin & Bass out of the water.


But it doesn’t end there! Peter Beagle is currently taking the film on a screening tour around the country (through 2016). And, believe it or not, The Last Unicorn is currently being developed as a Broadway musical with Josh Duhamel and Fergie (from the Black Eyed Peas).

Forty-five years old and showing no signs of fading away, The Last Unicorn is as vibrant as ever.

Zoey had the chance to chat with Peter Beagle at this year’s New York Comic-Con. This one’s a treat. Power through the background noise about halfway through, and enjoy!

As always, all questions are Zoey’s. I simply prompt her with “clue words” so she can remember. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you can’t make out Zoey’s questions.)

Thanks so much to Peter Beagle for taking the time to chat with Zoey and to Connor Cochran for helping to arrange the interview!

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.