Movies Based on Cartoons: An Embarrassingly Uninspired Trend

It’s been done before, of course, but the recent trend of movies based on old cartoons is beginning to terrify me.  There have been a few successes – Transformers (the first one) was a great movie, though it only really used the concept of the toys and tv show; and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies could be cited as a success story (except that they are as much a product of the original comics as they are of the cheesy but awesome 80’s tv show) – more often than not they tank.  And deservedly so.

A few examples:  The 90’s Flintstones movie was atrocious.  The Scooby-Doo movies, while mildly amusing in a mindlessly stupid way, were largely forgettable.  The Garfield movies were terrible, and an embarrassment to the usually discerning Bill Murray.  I don’t even know what to say about that ridiculous Underdog movie.  And let’s not forget that someone who shall remain nameless (**cough** M. Night Shyamalan **cough**) utterly ruined Avatar: The Last Airbender, turning an absolutely beautifully animated, exciting, and surprisingly intelligent (especially for Nickelodeon) cartoon into an atrocious mess of bad casting, worse acting, and ridiculous dialogue.  I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

So imagine my astonishment and annoyance as, over the last few years, the trend as not only continued but intensified.  The two most recent and absurd choices: The Smurfs and Yogi Bear!  I’m sorry, but YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!  The fact that film companies, producers, and script writers have so completely lost their imaginations that they must turn to cartoons at all is sad enough, but then out of all the cartoons they could have chosen, they choose Yogi Bear and The Smurfs!  Made in 1961 and 1981 respectively, they are dated, lack any real plot or interest, and were only amusing to me when I was ten or younger.  Actually, even when I was a little kid, Yogi Bear usually just annoyed me.  And while The Smurfs was entertaining enough for awhile, it is going to look absolutely ridiculous in CGI, especially when combined with live action.  I cannot begin to guess what those producers were thinking.

The lack of originality and imagination in Hollywood has been blatantly obvious for years now, but situation continues to worsen.  It becomes more and more obvious by the day that most of the producers, directors, and writers in Hollywood have no clue what they’re doing.  And they wouldn’t recognize a good idea if it bit them in the butt.  Obviously, they don’t recognize a BAD idea when they see one either.  If it’s just a matter of finding new ideas, they’re all over the place if they only knew where to look.  Just ask my friend Joanna.  She’s a veritable treasure trove of new, original, and fascinating stories.  But I fear its about more than simply not knowing where to look.  It’s about doing what’s easiest, fastest, and mindless.  And that, I’m afraid, can’t be remedied any time soon.

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6 thoughts on “Movies Based on Cartoons: An Embarrassingly Uninspired Trend

  1. Hollywood scares me. Really scares me sometimes. Why did I chose to live so close to it again? TT

    Seriously though…I have decided that there is really no intelligence left in the movie-making business anymore. Like, where do these companies get the idea that the stuff they churn out is actually quality? Granted, there are always a few good movies here and there….but I really don’t get how 90% of the time, the movie-making people fail miserably, then try again using the exact same formula. Do they listen at all to what people say? Do they read the comments and discussions that take place online? Or are we more in the minority with our opinions than we think?

    • I know exactly what you mean. Everything just seems like a re-hashing of a re-hashing. And I seriously don’t know if we’re the minority or not.

      However, Mike, Mom, and I FINALLY FINALLY got to see Inception on thursday, and it was utterly totally stunningly amazing and mind-blowing. If you haven’t seen it yet, GO NOW.

    • I don’t think what people think is relevant to them. They are more on the profits that they gain and the sales they are making. I guess it is always like that. Either old ones being revived or new ones turned into books. I hope more and more new directors and producers would think of something else for better entertainment.

      Fabrice from Cumulus électrique 

  2. This is what I hate about Hollywood… In school, they called it ‘The Hollywood Formula’. They pick up the rights to a bunch of aging intellectual properties, along with a few original scripts. Then they make ten movies knowing that nine of them will be sins against art. The last movie will become a cult classic, and will fund the next ten movies used in this formula. It’s sad that Hollywood movie makers seem to resemble prostitutes more than artists, anymore. >_<

    And I want to see Inception. And Dinner for Shmucks. And Despicable Me. And Scott Pilgrim vs. The World…

    (I hate knowing I'll only be able to see maybe two of these movies in the theater, and I'll have to wait for the others to come out on video).

  3. I really understand what you meant that there is no originality with the trend in movie making today. But on the contrary, I find it cool and entertaining. Primarily for the reason that I love cartoons and these are the cartoon shows I was growing up with. 🙂

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