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.