Friday, April 16, 2010

Hollywood Adaptations of 80s Cartoons

“Ugh” A familiar expression voiced by myself and many of my generation when another Hollywood remake of a beloved childhood television program is announced. Recently it was announced that The Smurfs would be following Transformers and GI Joe to the big screen. Other projects currently in development include Akira, Robotech and Voltron. I think it may be time to stop groaning and accept that this trend will continue. “Adaptations are the lifeblood of the film and television industry” – Linda Seger According to Linda over 80% of Best Picture Academy Award winners are adaptations. Perhaps one day a Bravestarr or My Little Pony adaptation will win such an award. Taking a few moments to think about some shows from the past, I’ve come up with a list of properties that need the Hollywood treatment. Gobots Gobots was a line of transforming robot toys produced by Tonka from 1983 to 1987, similar to Transformers. If your parents couldn't’ afford to buy you Optimus Prime, chances are they went to K-Mart and picked up a Leader-1 figure for you The Pitch: Gobots could not compete with Transformers in the 80s, and producing a big budget, special effects laden action adventure film would be foolish. I propose the Gobots appearing in the film version should be sentient, but remain toy sized. Imagine an epic battle, the fate of the earth hanging in the balance…originating in a child’s bedroom. Little Nick and his friend AJ helping the peace loving Guardians. Their neighbor Mean Mr. Jones siding with the evil Renegades. It’s Toy Story mixed with Cats and Dogs.

ThunderCats ThunderCats follows the adventures of the eponymous team of heroes, cat-like humanoid aliens from the planet of Thundera. Warner Bros had planned a CGI animated film version, but it was scrapped perhaps due to the commercial and critical failure of Speed Racer, another Warner Bros. project. Here’s how the ThunderCats project can be brought back to life. The Pitch:
It needs to be a live action film. This will increase the possibility of garnering an Academy Award (makeup and special effects). I don’t think audiences are going to want watch a 2 hour film with a bunch of humanoid cats fighting humanoid lizards, vultures, jackals and monkeys. What this movie will need is some human interference; a shuttle containing humans, landing on 3rd Earth, inadvertently getting involved in the conflict between the ThunderCats, the Mutants and Mumm-Ra. One of the humans will have to be a Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes), Sam Worthington (Avatar) type hunk. There will be a mandatory love scene between Hunk and Cheetara; thereby allowing perverted fan boys to live out childhood zoophilia fantasies. oh my!

Jem and the Holograms The show is about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures. The central "secret" of the series is that Jem is in fact the alter ego of Jerrica Benton, owner/manager of Starlight Music and Starlight Foundation for Girls, a foster program founded by her mother Jacque Benton. A live action version is currently being considered by Hasbro (owners of the property). Here's how you do the movie correctly... The Pitch: One of my biggest problems with the show (yes I was an avid viewer) was the fact that Jerrica and Jem were practically the same person. The hair was pink, the skirts were a little shorter, but surely Rio must have known that he was messing with the same woman? A better question, why would Jerrica/Jem allow this to continue? Answer: A developing case of dissociative identity disorder. Not only does she have to deal with her rivals The Misfits, Jerrica has to battle her dominating alter-ego – who’s very sexy, I should add – and her rapidly deteriorating health. Are glamour, glitter, fashion and fame more important than her health?

*90’s Bonus Toon* Prostars Prostars centers on Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky fighting crime, helping children, and protecting the environment. The Pitch: Wayne Gretzky, jobless and bored decides to reunite the Prostars in a desperate attempt to rekindle feelings of glory from the past. He must convince former Prostars leader Michael Jordan (now an old, miserable, gambling addict) to join him. Together they set out on a journey across America to find Bo Jackson, who has been missing for over 5 years.

11 comments:

Unmarked Door said...

Coupla extra Ideas: Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayce_and_the_Wheeled_Warriors) and Ulysses 31 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_31). Especially Ulysses.

Boothe said...

Wow @Ulysses 31, I remember that shit, but barely. It's sitting at the outer edge of my memory.

Jayce had one of the best theme songs out there. Those singers were passionate in delivering some good theme song goodness.

Good random pics, but how do you Hollywood-ize em?

MF said...

I was just gonna say Ulysses 31 and Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors until dude above beat me to the punch (2 of my favourite cartoon alongside Battle Of The Planets and the Star Wars spin-off Droids cartoon), so i'm gonna have to propose the idea of a Sport Billy movie instead :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huJlDsfXf5U

Prostars was way to American-centric to make it onto UK tv, but it sounds like a bizarre premise.

MF said...

I bought the full series of Ulysses 31 on dvd about 6 years ago when it finally got a release here. Holds up really well.

It sucked that the toys never it over to the UK, though.

Boothe said...

In Hollywood, Sport Billy is a teenager. University scholarship, or save the universe?

His sexuality will also be called into question due to his pension for wearing golden shoes (with wings) and carrying around purse.

MF said...

They wouldn't even have to go to the trouble of creating special winged golden shoes, as they could just use those Jeremy Scott Adidas forums, thereby saving themselves a fortune in the wardrobe depsrtment and getting a hefty cheque from Adidas for product-placement.

Sport Billy would probably be played by Shia Lebouf.

Boothe said...

and when I say pension, I mean penchant.

It's 7am here. Brain still warming up.

:-)

Good call on casting Shia.

Boothe said...

I HATED Droids as kid. I memories of it being one of the most boring cartoons ever. I don't know, maybe because of the Star Wars brand I was expecting more lightsaber action or something.

I also remember not having as much of a problem with Ewoks. Maybe it was the catchy theme song.

MF said...

Man, the Droids theme > the Ewoks theme.

Boothe said...

I just listened to both theme songs for the first time in years. You're right, the Droids theme is better, but as a kid - it was just so much easier to repeat E-E-E-E-EEEEWOKS.

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