9/23/2011

The list of eight children's shows too weird or controversial to make into live action films...

Lately, there's been a rush to make live-action movies based solely on the nostalgic value of childrens' cartoon shows. "Hey, old guy! Remember watching The Smurfs? Now you can leave your sad, pathetic life and remember when you were a happy child watching TV!"

There are pretty mixed results. Some are great (Transformers), others are just OK (The Flintstones), and some are disasters (Fat Albert).

To help producers weed out potential properties for films, here are the top eight children's shows that should never, ever be made into live-action films.

1. Thundercats

Starting in 1985, this animated series featured a group of cat-like aliens, called "ThunderCats," from the planet Thundera colonizing a planet called "Third Earth." I never understood if that was supposed to be a reference to our Earth or just supposed to be a coincidence, but there you go. Anyway, they each had weapons like a sword or numchucks and some had super-powers. They were chased by a bunch of mutants and fought the psychotic mummy Mumm-Ra who wanted the "Sword of Omens."

Yes, the Thundercats are cool. The new animated show is nice. How good would the make-up be, though? Is it really possible to make a bunch of actors wearing cat make-up believable? Not to mention Mumm-Ra? Snarf? The Mutants?

No way. This one should stay animated.

2. Pac-Man

Pac-Man was a popular video game in the early eighties, so they figured a television series would be just as popular. Airing in 1982 and running for two seasons, the show followed a working-class Pac-Man with his family Mrs. Pac-Man, Pepper, and Pac-Baby living in Pac-Land. Just like the game, they always found themselves chased by the ghosts Inky, Blinky and Clyde and had to eat "Power Pellets" to turn the tables on their enemies.

Besides the fact that the whole concept is too full of plot holes to support a movie, Pacman is so eighties. No one wants to see guys dressed like big orange balls. That said, the videos of people recreating the game on in shopping malls are hysterical. Keep it up, guys.


3. Ren and Stimpy

Created by the legendary John Kricfalusi in 1991, this show about a psychotic Chihuahua and dim-witted cat blazed a trail of humor and criticism across Nickelodeon. Originally created as part of a variety show parodying different cartoon genres, vice-president of animation Vanessa Coffey decided to throw out everything but the cat and dog. The rest was history.

This show was almost too strange for kids, much less adults, with its off-color, gross-out humor and innuendo. The show led to shows like Beavis and Butt-head and South Park. Ren and Stimpy was one of the most bizarre kids' shows ever made. There's no way that "Powered Toast Man" could ever exist in the real world.

4. Thundarr the Barbarian

In 1980, a new show was brought to kids by Hanna-Barbera. Not coincidentally, Star Wars and Conan were popular, and this show sought to capitalize on the success. The opening narration to the show:
"The year: 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is cast in ruin!
Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn...

A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil.

He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!"
It was a cross between Conan and Star Wars. Light sabers (sunswords), Wookies (Ookla the Mokk), and alien creatures. Hokey. Derivative. Poorly thought-out concepts. This one would be worse than the He-Man movie with Dolph Lundgren.


5. Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

In 1985, Mattel decided to make a line of toy cars. They partnered with DIC to make a television series about a group of humans driving cars fighting alien plants that transform into cars to drive along interstellar space vines to different planets. Kind of confusing. The opening narration to the show:
"Thundering across the stars to save the universe from the Monster Minds. Jayce searches for his father to unite the Magic Root and lead his Lightning League to victory over the changing form of Saw Boss. Wheeled Warriors explode into battle - Lightning Strikes!"
Plants. In space. Transforming plants, no less. Driving from one planet to another. If you get bothered by movies with sound in space you'd never get past the credits. Plus, what kind of moron would want to direct this travesty? Answer? Michael Bay.



6. Inhumanoids

Airing in 1986, this show followed a group of underground explorers known as "Earth Core." Suddenly, four gigantic monsters, known as "Inhumanoids," are released by a mining expedition and begin attacking the world. The crew suddenly, and coincidentally, find themselves in the role of Earth's protectors.

The leader, Metlar, can pull lava balls from his mouth. D'Compose turned people into giant zombies with his fingernail. Tendril, a giant plant creature, could regenerate clones of himself. If that wasn't enough weirdness for you, add talking trees, a pair of magnetic twins, and walking rocks, and you have the enough weirdness to jump-start the heart of any kid alive.

This one shouldn't be made because it would be too good. Aside from having massive creatures stomping through the city and pulling lava from their mouths, you have a guy that can turn people into zombies. No other movie would be made for the next hundred years.



7. M.A.S.K.

Created in 1985, during the heyday of Transformers, this show followed Matt Trakker as he and his team elite team called M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) drove vehicles that transformed into other vehicles, and wore masks that gave them superpowers. They fought against the vaguely evil team known as V.E.N.O.M.

Named the 99th best animated series by IGN, it's considered a landmark of children's television. So, why not make a movie? No one would see it. Everyone would think it's a Transformers knock-off and skip it. Meanwhile, the rest of us would marvel over the amazing helmets that lift people off the ground and helicopters turning into planes. Jeeps turning into jet skis? Crazy good.


8. Turbo Teen

Airing in 1986, this cartoon about a teenager involved in an accident that turns him into a sports car whenever he gets hot would be too far-out. During the height of popularity of the television show Knight Rider, the creators thought "if kids like a guy and his talking cool car, then they'll love to watch a show about a guy who turns into a talking cool car!"

Watching a teenager transform into sports car just raises too many questions. What happens when he gets an oil change? Can he sleep without a blanket? If you're wondering what it would like for a guy to change into a car, take a peek. I'll warn you. It's not pretty.




8. Super Globetrotters

A lot of people have heard of the comedy basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters. The Globetrotters were big in the seventies, and so were superheroes. Why not put them together?

Back in 1979, they were cast in a cartoon show as secret superheroes. Each had basketball-themed powers like turning into a giant basketball, turning into water and duplicating. Honestly they were just a lazy copy of the Impossibles, another superhero show produced at the time that had super-powered Beatles. The one that really stood out was the incredibly racist Gizmo who had a magic Afro that let him pull anything he needed out of it.

Besides the fact that no one wears Afros anymore, it's kind of racist to imply black people keep an unlimited supply of items in their hair. Maybe Jesse Jackson. This one would never last a week in theaters before the N.A.A.C.P. shut it down.

What do you think? Could these shows make it in live action? Is there a kids' show you remember that's too weird for a movie?
[Main image source: WhatCulture]
Update: Typos and grammatical errors
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2 comments:

Nisse said...

I dont agree, MASK would (if made correctly) make for an awesome movie!

Aryo Pramuditho said...

I don't agree, TURBO TEEN is just like Transformer make a movie!

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