Cartoon-to-film wishlist

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July 26, 2010 by Chris Reynolds

Characters, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, as they appear in the live-action version of "Transformers."

The idea of a beloved childhood cartoon hitting the big screen is a heavily cherished one. Many have mined this quarry to find a massive payout, and others, weren’t so lucky.

I think my favorite big-screen movie inspired by a cartoon series is “Transformers,” beyond a shadow of a doubt. There were other toons that I was initially excited about seeing on the big screen, but they eventually ruined my childhood.

For example, I used to watch Inspector Gadget all the time when I was little, and I was thrilled when I found out years later that Mathew Brodrick was to don the trench coat and fight Dr. Claw with his extendy prosthetics. Needless to say, I was disappointed. And I don’t even want to talk about “Garfield.”

At any rate, with the release of “G.I. Joe: Ride of Cobra” and the announcement of the new Smurfs movie, some fear Hollywood may soon run out of epic cartoons to recreate for theaters. However, I beg to differ. I would like to propose, if I may, a small list of my favorite cartoons that need to be made into blockbuster hits, along with potential cast and crew members:

Thunder Cats: This cartoon has been rumored to get its own movie for years, and why not? Tons of action, swords, space fights, cat-alien-people… it has everything people love! Picture it done with a “Transformers” style story but with graphics a lot like “Avatar.” Using the real real-time motion capture technology to make the Thunder Cats’ shaped like people, but with cat-like features and skins. I would love to see Abrams direct this reboot! And I think Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) would be a great candidate to play (or at least voice) Snarf. Just saying. SNARF SNARF!

Pokemon: Picture this, live action with animated Pokemon. Instant classic. The tale of a young boy, setting off to capture monsters and pit them in legal street fights. I am getting all teary eyed just thinking about this coming-of-age tale. As for the cast, I would have to say Justin Beiber would play the main character Ash Ketchum, because, lets face it, he is the only male in Hollywood young enough for the part. And I think Steve Martin would make a great Professor Oak. The humor and appearance are uncanny matches! As far as Ash’s brutal rival Gary Oak… I’m thinking Edward Norton. He has that, “hes a bad guy but hes trying to be good, kinda, oh wait no hes bad again,” thing going on. And as for the voices of the Pokemon… Robin Williams, he’ll voice em all.

Biker Mice From Mars: I don’t know about casting for this, but anthropomorphic mice from another planet who ride colored hogs is just a great premise for a film. Like the illegitimate child of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s and Street Sharks, this show stole my sanity as a kid. I thought they existed and hoped I would see them during motorcycle weekend while living in New Hampshire. Alas, I never had a sighting.

So what cartoon would you want to see hit the big screen next? And who would you cast?


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