Transformers, G.I. Joe, Garfield, The Chipmunks, and now The Smurfs. Hollywood's gone on a spree pilfering our childhood favorites to make crappy live-action movies. We have some suggestions of 'toons that should make the trip to the big screen.
Turning cartoon properties can either mean a big success (see Transformers) or a colossal disaster (see Josie and the Pussycats). But movie executives love to take something familiar and repurpose it. After all, they get to cash in on the nostalgia from those who remember it the first time around as well as rake in money from kids who are discovering it for the first time. Here are seven animation to motion picture journeys we'd much rather see than the cutesy Smurfs.
Jem and the Holograms
Original: Jerrica Benton was a responsible lady who ran a shelter for runaway teens by day and—with the help of her hologram creating machine, Synergy—was international rock star Jem by night. With the help of her friends they were constantly battling the bad girl band, The Misfits.
Updates for Film: Get rid of those depressing little orphans, but keep all the battle of the bands stuff. Maybe Jerrica is an internet hacker and her computer, Synergy, has to create a fake identity for her to keep her privacy or something. Just please, please don't get Taylor Momsen to play Jem.
Who Would See It: Indie girls of all ages.
Pirates of Dark Water
Original: This short-lived early '90s cartoon was about an inexperienced youngster, a seasoned pirate, a telepathic scullery maid, and a weird flying monkey thing on the hunt for the 13 jewels that could rid the world of water filled with a nasty black substance.
Updates for Film: Hello, could this get any more topical with the BP oil spill and all? And look at what Johnny Depp has done for pirates! But 13 jewels seems like a lot. Maybe we can narrow it down to three? This would make a great special effects extravaganza with an ecological undertone. Be sure to keep all the inventive cuss words from the original.
Who Would See It: Greenpeace members.
Original: A family of mystical creatures lives in a tree and gains magical bouncing powers when they drink their special juice. With the help of a young page, they fight against an evil duke and his army of ogres.
Updates for Film: I really hate when movies blend animation with live-action like in The Chipmunks but there's really no way to get around this, is there? The remake shouldn't be so bright, cheery, and infantile as the original. Give it the Tim Burton treatment and make them sort of dark and grotesque. Play up the drug angle because all these bears are doing is living in the forest and dosing themselves with some strange brew all day.
Who Would See It: Goth stoners.
Lupin the Third
Original: A Japanese classic that got some play on Adult Swim, this silly series is about a horny and bumbling master thief, his ninja cohort, lock-picking best friend, and the sexy con woman he's always trying to bed (but never quite lands).
Updates for Film: This would make an excellent action comedy in the vein of Oceans Eleven. It should be as much about the jokes and the set up as the action-filled heist itself. Get a good adversary, a sexy lady, and Ashton Kutcher as Lupin and you'll have a potential franchise on your hands.
Who Would See It: Frustrated boys with pimples.
Original: A benevolent scientist throws some ingredients in a test tube and magically creates three grammar-school aged girls with a variety of superpowers. They fight crime and generally kick ass and stuff.
Updates for Film: Make them into tweens who have to defeat bad guys as well as deal with boys, pimples, not having a mother, and picking out dresses for the school dance. Cast Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Miranda Cosgrove and this thing will be an unstoppable force.
Who Would See It: 12 year-olds who like Hannah Montana and grown women into roller derby.
He-Man and She-Ra
Original: He-Man was the strapping Tom of Finland drawing come to life that saved the planet of Eternia from Skelator. She-Ra was his twin sister in an alternative dimension that saved the planet Etheria from the Evil Horde. They had an assortment of do-gooding friends and colorful enemies.
Updates for Film: We still haven't forgiven Hollywood for the disastrous He-Man adaptation Masters of the Universestarring Dolph Lundgren. Maybe they could remake it and do it right by bringing She-Ra along for the ride. Can we get Hugh Jackman and Megan Fox (in a blond wig)? I would go see that twice.
Who Would See It: Gays.
Original: A noble samurai is cast far into the future by the evil spirit Aku and must find a way to defeat the creature and make it back to his own time. Many of the episodes were light on the dialogue and high on the action and visual styling.
Updates for Film: You wouldn't have to change much. Having some old-school martial arts in a crazy sci-fi environment would be very exciting to watch. Just think of how amazing CGI experts could make Aku. Between the high kicks of the samurai and all the robots, blinking lights, and flying cars of the future, this would be great in 3D.
Who Would See It: Your brother.