Anna Faris will also be in the movie as a documentary filmmaker. I like Anna Faris even when she's in crap movies, but I don't think her presence is going to make me like this one.
I'm sorry to say that this movie will likely do well and the kids will eat up. Look at Hollywood's history of similar movies (most of which have actually spawned sequels): The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Scooby Doo ... the list goes on.
So what do you think of this idea?
My hopes are pretty low, given that the production credits of the team involved (Alex Zamm and David Goodman) include Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board, Inspector Gadget 2 and Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Goodman is also a writer/producer of Family Guy.
Is it possible to create kid-friendly fare based on cartoons of my childhood that is also pleasing to adults? When I think of this genre, I can only come up with the awful Scooby Doo movies and Alvin and the Chipmunks (and despite sucking hard, both movies are either getting or have had sequels).
Based on the people involved, the movie will likely be juvenile and formulaic. I look forward to it with the same glee I look forward to train wrecks.
Children's television is the ultimate pacifier. Where else in the world can a terrible, horrific monster that destroys both life and property with nary a whiff of sympathy be turned into a soft, cuddly character who has his own line of soft, cuddly dolls being sold at the local Wal-Mart? It's only later in life, after they've adjusted to these de-fanged monsters, do they realize that their beliefs were so wrong. Aaaannnddd, that's where the therapy comes in.
But, we're not here to talk about the emotional problems that are paralyzing you today. We're here to talk about those vampires, ghosts and mummies that were stripped down and made to be funny, clumsy and even musically oriented. After the jump you'll see a few examples of what I mean. Don't worry, they won't scare you...they've been homogenized for your nightmare-free pleasure.
As a matter of fact, when I think of Hanna Barbera properties on the big screen, I automatically think of the 1994 movie version of The Flintstones. Then I shudder. The script will probably be cliché and have very little in common with the original cartoon, and the new generation will lap it up like milk. It's another pleasant childhood memory flushed down the toilet in the name of the almighty dollar.
Enough of my rant. My big question is: who will be playing Ranger Smith?
I'm old enough to remember when The Banana Splits were on television (from reruns. I'm not THAT old) and I'm curious about how whomever now controls their fate will translate the show for newer audiences. The original show was very much a staple of the hippie culture from back then. It would be disappointing if the show went from hippie to hipster. The original show most notably launched the careers of Sid and Marty Krofft who went on to make such iconic 70's children's fare as H.R. Pufnstuff and The Bugaloos among others.
The most memorable part of The Banana Splits was their theme song "The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)". However they modernize that song, whether it becomes a rap or a High School Musical-style pop song, I can only say right now that it will be inferior to the original.
Remember when you were watching Pinky and the Brain and the Brain would think of these abstract, convoluted plots for taking over the world? Or when Scott Evil was pointing out to his father how easy it would be to shoot Austin Powers in the head rather than subject him to some sort of silly trap from which he could escape. I'm convinced they were parodying the Legion of Doom's methodology from the Challenge of the Super Friends which ran from 1978 to 1979 on ABC. Their simple goal was stated in the opening credits: the conquest of the Universe, with a subordinate goal of the destruction of the Super Friends. They failed every time, and I think that's partially due to poor planning.
With that in mind, here are the top five silliest plans from the Legion of Doom to accomplish their goals:
To enter, simply leave a comment below before 5:00PM Eastern, Friday, February 15, simply telling us who your favorite Smurf is. As always, we'll randomly choose three winners amongst the eligible entries. Some other details:
- To enter, leave a confirmed comment below stating who your favorite Smurf is.
- The comment must be left before February 15, 2008 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
- You may enter only once.
- Three winners will be selected in a random drawing.
- Three winners will receive a copy of The Smurfs season one, volume one on DVD (valued at $26.99).
Here's some animation news from the past week or so:
First, don't forget that Frisky Dingo's second season kicks off on August 26 on Adult Swim at midnight. That's next Sunday.
In a younger vein, kids can look forward to brand new episodes of Danny Phantom starting tomorrow, August 20. New episodes will premiere throughout the week at 4:00 p.m. each day, ending with the hour-long TV movie Phantom Planet at 8:00 p.m. on Friday.
My friend Wild Bill sent me news that Jonny Quest, the Hanna-Barbera series about the titular lad who accompanies his scientist father on wild adventures, is being made into a live-action movie. The series, much like The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Top Cat, aired during primetime when it first aired in the '60s. New versions of Jonny Quest also popped up in the '80s and '90s.
Like the upcoming Speed Racer flick from the Wachowski brothers, reports so far say the movie will be "family friendly." The movie will serve as an origin story explaining how Jonny's bodyguard Roger "Race" Bannon and Dr. Benton Quest's adopted son Hadji join the family.
Choke on hot blue nostalgia, Generation X.
The Smurfs, that popular animated program I and many of my friends watched religiously as children of the '80s, is finally coming out on DVD. The Smurfs: Season One, Volume One is a two-disc set including the first nineteen episodes of the first season, along with "The Smurfs Springtime Special" and "Smurfs: The Music Video." The set comes out December 4.
Here's some cool animation stuff I found over the past week or so:
Cartoon Brew has a lot of cool stuff, so I'll start there first. First of all, Jerry Beck has a new book, The Hanna Barbera Treasury. The book will focus mostly on the Hanna Barbera series created in the '50s and '60s. It comes out in October.
Also via the Brew comes this documentary about the life and work of animator Tex Avery, the man who was arguably the one most responsible for putting the "looney" in "Looney Tunes," and later brought that same magic to MGM. The doc is from 1988 and is split into several parts.
Here's a couple bits of animation news:
I was indifferent to 12 Oz Mouse at first, but after finally watching the episodes in order and becoming immersed in its odd little world, it quickly became one of my favorite Adult Swim series. It's nice to see it back in any form.
If the surreal post-modern weirdness of 12 Oz Mouse isn't your thing, you can always check out some new Hanna Barbera cartoons that were recently added to iTunes. The new store includes episodes of Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones and Yogi Bear.
Despite what Best Week Ever says, Grindhouse co-director Robert Rodriguez is not directing a live-action version of the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Jetsons. He was, however, shown the script and says he might be interested in it. This is just one of many projects being offered to him, so it remains to be seen if we'll be seeing a Rodriguez-directed film with the likes of George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Astro, Rosie, Mr. Spacely, Mr. Cogswell and Orbity, the Scrappy-Doo of the Jetson's universe (and I liked both characters, I'm just saying they were polarizing).
After losing co-founder Joseph Barbera and animator Ed Benedict, Hanna Barbera is again saying good-bye to yet another legend. Iwao Takamoto, who designed Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the rest of the Mysteries Inc. gang, passed away yesterday at the age of 81.
While Ed Benedict is credited with designing the original Flintstones characters, Takamoto designed the Great Gazoo. He also created Muttley, the wheezing dog featured on such shows as Laff-A-Lympics, Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines and Wacky Races; and Astro, the Jetson's dog who, oddly enough, sounded not unlike Scooby-Doo (both were voiced by Don Messick). His other credits at Hanna Barbera include Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw and many, many others.
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