In addition to comic book stories, the movie studios have been mining the characters and stories from cartoons. Some were popular cartoons way back when and some are relatively more recent. I can’t tell you too much about them because only a couple that I watched as a child have been transferred to the silver screen. Most of them are a combination of live-action and CGI imagery. I’ll go through the ones I know about, but they won’t be in any particular order.
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)
This was a live-action movie version of the two cartoons it was based on: Rocky and His Friends (1959-1961) and The Bullwinkle Show (1961-1964). Both of the titles refer to the same animated television series — the name changed when the series moved from one network to another.
The cartoon was insane. Every once in a while, I’ll pop over to YouTube and watch some clips. It’s still as amusing as it was when I was young. I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s on my long list of movies to see. Despite mixed reviews, it’s just one of those movies that I have to watch at least once.
Boris and Natasha (1992)
Based on some of the Bullwinkle characters, this one was made first. I haven’t seen it but now that I know about it, it’s on my “to see” list.
Dudley Do-Right (1999)
This is another that I haven’t seen. I was never fond of the cartoon and only watched a couple of episodes. I probably won’t ever attempt to see this movie and won’t intentionally look for it.
Underdog was another character from my childhood. The dog in the move isn’t CGI. I think it would have been a much better movie if it had been more like the Bullwinkle movie in which the dog actually is CGI. Ah, but it would have been a different story.
Underdog started out as a network cartoon in 1964 and continued in syndication until 1973. At least 124 episodes were produced.
The Masters of the Universe (1987)
Both of my sons were hooked on the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons in the late 1980s. I caught piece of it now and then, but I never got into it. It was geared toward children and even the humor was way too lame for me to appreciate. The only part of the animated feature that I remember well is the transformation from Prince Adam to He-Man.
When the movie came out, I was disappointed. My sons were disappointed as well. There wasn’t a single transformation in the entire movie — the character was He-Man the entire time. Even Skeletor wasn’t up to par with the cartoon version.
On a side note, this was the first movie role for Courteney Cox after her “discovery” in a music video by Bruce Springsteen. I recognized her in the movie immediately. She was younger and prettier back then than she is now. The years have not been kind to her.
Anyway… I understand from several sources that a new “He-Man” movie will be released in 2010 or 2011 (tentatively titled “Grayskull”). I’m not holding my breath on that one. I figure it will probably be as disappointing as the last one. That is, unless they put enough effort into it to attract adult viewers since most of the kids that enjoyed it are grown and in their 20s now.
This is one I was looking forward to seeing and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
This version of the story is better than the cartoon that I remember. The good guys, the Autobots, have to stop the bad guys, the Decepticons, from getting the “allspark” (however it’s spelled) and creating a new race of robots on Earth. They succeed, of course, or it wouldn’t be the story I’d expect at all.
Fat Albert (2004)
Okay, I saw just a few episodes of the original animated feature. When I started watching the movie, I lost interest in the first 20 minutes. It was boring. Sue me.
The Flintstones (1994)
Although I think I saw every episode of the original cartoon, I haven’t seen this movie. It’s not a priority either. The previews made it seem a little too dorky for me.
George of the Jungle (1997)
This was actually a pretty good movie, although the sequel kind of sucked. For the most part, it follows the cartoon series. Although I enjoyed it (once), I really don’t have anything else to say about it.
Inspector Gadget (1999)
My younger son loved this movie. I don’t even remember it. I remember the sequel, which went straight to video, and I thought it was a better movie.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
This is one that my entire family saw, along with the sequels. I never watched the cartoons, so I have nothing to compare it with.
This was a different kind of list for me. I tried to touch on more than just a list and I failed miserably in some aspects. I even forgot about Scooby-Doo (2002). How could anyone forget Scooby and Shaggy?