Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Last week, I went to Ratatouille. Excellent. Yes, I still go to cartoons. I'll watch cartoons, only as long as they are good. If it's no good it just isn't worth my while.

I really am a fan of good animation. Goes back to the days when I tuned into those Saturday morning cartoons, watching Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner, the Pink Panther, and all kinds of funny animals.

Now, those old cartoons were good. They tended to be shown in theaters first and played to an adult audience. These days, the reverse is happening. We are seeing lots of movies being made based on Saturday morning cartoons. Frankly, I have not seen too many good feature-length motion pictures based on these cartoon characters. Come to think of it, I don't think there are any. Whether it's Rocky and Bullwinkle, Josie and the Pussycats, Fat Albert, Scooby-Doo, Casper the Friendly Ghost, or these Garfield movies, all these efforts have universally and completely stunk at the theaters. Every stinking last one of them. Hollywood ought to just forget it, already.

Even the big-screen efforts involving Bugs Bunny have been dismal. I remember seeing Bugs in Space Jam! with Michael Jordan in it, and that was really a brutal effort by the crew over at Warner Brothers. The animation was good but the flick was just so boring.

The only live-action efforts that seem to be any good are these ones involving these Marvel and DC superheroes that just so happened to also have cartoons shown on Saturday morning. That's it!

Unfortunately, the local movie theaters are serving up one Saturday morning retread cartoon after another these days. This year alone, we have already had appearances by Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, and most recently by Transformers, "more than meets the eye". All of them former Saturday morning cartoons. All of them, regrettably, producing mixed results. Those efforts, though, look like Citizen Kane compared to these adaptations on the way soon.


I saw the trailer for Underdog and I want to throw up.

Yes, Disney is bringing back the classic cartoon superhero as a live-action mutt. This looks like one of the worst movies of this decade, let alone the year. This mutt doesn't look like Underdog, or even sound like him.

It looks like they've ruined Polly Purebred, too. On the TV show she was a gorgeous TV newsbabe-hound, sort of a dog version of Barbara Walters. But for this flick they turned her into an ugly-looking live mutt as well.

You would have thought that people would have learned their lesson about turning these cartoons into live-action heroes after those dismal Flintstones movies. This is so depressing. Couldn't they have tried a CGI version? That would have at least been a worthy effort, at least these characters would have looked like the original cartoons. Based on the trailer alone, though, this Underdog live-action movie they have cooked up looks like absolute dog s#!t.


Coming later this year is another travesty: the return of those famous Billboard-Number One recording artists Alvin and the Chipmunks. But who wants to see Alvin, Simon or Theodore again? No one, that's the problem.

Lots of people still member the Chipmunks from their terrible, sappy Eighties TV show. That Saturday morning show also featured girlfriends for these annoying Chipmunks. The show was so bad and boring that people forgot that there was a time when these characters were actually amusing, like during their good 1961 original TV show--- or from these fun records that they used to put out a long time ago. Anyway, that Eighties show has made these characters permanently unpopular. People hoped these three idiots had been put out of their misery for good, but unfortunately these stupid chipmunks with their high-pitched vocals are coming back. In a movie.

These Chipmunks are back later this year in a computer-animated effort starring Jason Lee as their manager David Seville. That's right, "Earl" as Seville. Already, people are horrified at this flick. Just the thought of Jason Lee in the same movie with Alvin and the Chipmunks is turning peoples' stomachs. There's a new movie poster out featuring the Chipmunks dressed as gangsta rappers. They look like they ought to be in jail, these three! Gone from Alvin is his trademark ball cap; instead he's covered in a hood.

Good freaking grief.

All I will say is that the upcoming Simpsons movie had better be good, or TV cartoon fans will have NOTHING to look forward to at the theaters.

Who are they going to bring back next and make a live-action movie out of? Penelope Pitstop!? Hong Kong Phooey?! I wouldn't be surprised. There are plenty more of these cartoon-to-feature efforts planned including, get this, a live-action version of The Jetsons. Heaven help all of us.

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