Sigmund and the Sea Monsters heading to the big screen
It continues to look as if the movie industry has totally run out of ideas for new concepts to bring the $10 a ticket crowd into the theaters. Dipping its foot into the television pool once again, it was announced that Universal has cut a deal to promote Sid & Marty Kroftt's Sigmund and the Sea Monsters to the big screen. This will be the second Kroftt movie for Universal (another property, H.R. Pufnstuf, is with Sony). The first, Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell, has completed filming and is set for release in June of 2009.
For those uninitiated to the golden age of Saturday morning programming, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters premiered on the NBC schedule during the 1973-74 season. It featured a friendly sea monster (played by Billy Barty) who was befriended by two human boys (one of them being Family Affair's Johnny Whitaker). The typical sitcomy plot usually involved Sigmund getting into some sort of trouble that alerted his sea monster brothers and mother (who lived in a nearby sea cave), and his human friends making sure he wasn't found out. It became the first Sid & Marty Kroftt production up to that time to be renewed for a second season.
Sigmund was quaint, hokey and, in today's perspective, pretty cheesy. It's fairly certain that it will lose all of those qualities in its transition to the big screen. This is especially true if they decide to forego the live, rubber-suited characters in favor of CGI-animated creatures. Shows like Sigmund should remain a television memory that only available on DVD. If they want to take a Sid & Marty Kroftt production and turn it into a movie I'd recommend The Kroftt Superstar Show or Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. Now, that would be a summer blockbuster! Plus, I hear Diedre Hall is available. (By the way, according to the Variety article, that's exactly what they want to do).