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Live-Action Film Adaptations
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"Alvin & the
Chipmunks" Film Series
"Casper" Film Series
"Dick Tracy" (1990)
"The Flintstones" (1994)
"Garfield" Film Series (2004-2006)
"George of the Jungle" Film Series
"Josie & the Pussycats" (2001)
Abner" (1940 Film)
Abner" (1959 Film)
"Richie Rich" Film Series
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
Boris & Natasha: The Movie (1990)
Yogi Bear (2010)
Comic Strip Movies
Harvey Comics Movies
The Movies of Hanna-Barbera
The Movies of Jay Ward
Video Game Movies
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
(2000): This movie bombed, but I don't know why. It
really kept in spirit with the classic TV cartoons, which people still
like, but this movie just didn't take. I don't think it was
properly promoted. A lot of people didn't even know it was coming
out until it was too late. I actually like this movie better than
the cartoons. It's fun to see Rocky and Bullwinkle as CGI
characters. Rocky, in particular, is done very, very cute!
He's absolutely adorable!
My thoughts on Boris & Natasha are mixed.
Visually, the actors for this film look more like the cartoon
characters than Dave Thomas and Sally Kellerman did for "Boris &
Natasha: The Movie" (1990). However, I thought Thomas and
Kellerman gave better performances. In this movie, Boris &
Natasha are supporting characters true to their evil roots. In
the previous film, they were major characters and presented more as
Robert DeNiro as Fearless Leader is EXCELLENT!
I've never been a huge fan of DeNiro's films, but this role is a
standout. He's actually acting and performing a distinct
character! Job well done!
"The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle" is a
great movie and incredibly underrated. I urge anyone that is even
a casual fan of the old cartoons to watch it.
Boris & Natasha: The Movie (1990):
This movie is awesome! The fact that it
didn't do that well commercially is a gross oversight. I think
it's a very smart action-comedy. They do break the fourth wall on
occasion, but just enough to tease the audience; it's not
overdone. Of course this is based on the characters of Boris
& Natasha from the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" TV cartoons.
Unlike the cartoons, Boris & Natasha are not presented as
evil. Rather, they are anti-heroes. At the start of the
film, they enjoy being "bad spies". Throughout the course of the
movie, they become heroes. I liked the fact that this wasn't just
a straight adaptation of "Rocky & Bullwinkle". There was a
lot of room for creativity in this script. Although we never see
Rocky & Bullwinkle in this film, we do learn that two characters
are Agents Moose & Squirrel.
This movie also serves as an SCTV reunion of
sorts. Dave Thomas was Boris, Andrea Martin has a major
supporting role as Toots, and John Candy plays ill-fated
Kalishak. "Boris & Natasha: The Movie" was made in 1990 for
theatrical release. Somewhere along the lines, it was NOT
released in theaters and ended up being shown on the Showtime cable
network on April 17, 1992. It has been a rarity on home video,
with a VHS release by Academy Entertainment in 1992, and a budget DVD
release in 1999 with no bonus features. If you can find this
movie, I strongly recommend that you watch it.
The cast is awesome, the story is interesting, and
it's just a funny, action-packed show with a slight adult edge.
It even features a cameo from John Travolta during his "dry spell"
before his major resurgence in popularity with the film, "Pulp Fiction"
Dave Thomas as Boris Badenov
Sally Kellerman as Natasha Fatale
Christopher Neame as Fearless Leader
Corey Burton as Narrator
Andrea Martin as Toots/Agent Squirrel
John Calvin as Harve/Agent Moose
Paxton Whitehead as Anton and Kreeger Paulovitch
Larry Cedar as Mr. X/Willie
Alex Rocco as Sheldon Kaufman
Arye Gross as Bellhop
John Candy as Kalishak
Anthony Newley as Sal Minelli
Sid Haig as Col. Gorda
Director- Charles Martin Smith
Writers- Jay Ward [characters], Charles Fradin, Brad Hall, Linda
Favila, Anson Downes
Jose Eber as Himself
John Travolta as Himself
June Foray as Autograph Woman
Charles Martin Smith as Hotel Clerk
Rance Howard as Polygraph Man
John Voldstad as Passerby
Anson Downes as Agent Mike
- This movie was made on a budget of $1 million.
- June Foray was the original voice of Natasha and
Rocky the Flying Squirrel.
- Rance Howard is the father of legendary
actor/director Ron Howard.
- John Voldstad is best known as Other Brother
Daryl from TVs "Newhart".
- The production company, Management Company
Entertainment Group, could not secure the rights to the likenesses of
the characters Rocky & Bullwinkle. Instead, the script worked
in a rather clever plot twist with Agents Moose & Squirrel.
It was probably a good thing they didn't have Rocky & Bullwinkle in
the movie. For one thing, this was a lower-budget movie made in
1990; special effects weren't that great and CGI really didn't come
into its own until "Jurassic Park" (1993). In addition, this film
just worked better with a focus on Boris & Natasha. I don't
know how Rocky and Bullwinkle could have been successfully worked into
(2007): I really liked this movie, but it is quite a bit different than the
classic cartoons. Maybe those differences is the reason why this
movie didn't take in theaters. In this
film, Underdog is a real dog (beagle) instead of a human-like
dog. Polly is also a real dog and NOT a TV reporter.
However, her owner Molly is a school reporter. She's also never
referred to as Sweet Polly Purebred. In addition, the
gangster-like wolf Riff Raff from cartoons is a real dog here.
Underdog is the only one that can talk to people; the other major dog
characters only speak "dog talk". The exception to this rule are
the three super-powered German Shepherds created by mad scientist Bar
I thought the writers of this movie did an excellent
job. It's the first time Underdog has ever been given an origin
story, and it makes more sense than what we see in the classic
cartoons. We learn how Underdog gets his powers, his relationship
to archnemesis Simon Bar Sinister, and the significance of the energy
pill. Job well done!
There were a few things about this movie that I
thought could have been done differently, but it doesn't change the
fact that this is still a good show. For one, I like Jason Lee,
and his voice turned out fine for Underdog, but I think audiences were
expecting him to sound like Underdog from the cartoons. This is
straight up Jason's voice, and no attempt was made to sound like
original voice man Wally Cox. Wally's distinctive voice is a
tough act to follow, but I do believe they could have done something to
make him sound goofy.
My second thought for improvement is the fact that
Simon Bar Sinister was just too darn scary! He should have been
toned down a bit. Bar Sinister was always more of a light-hearted
mad scientist in the cartoons (if there is such a thing). At any
rate, I find the cartoon version of Bar Sinister a more likable
character than the movie version. The movie version of Bar
Sinisiter might scare some kids.
I also thought Patrick Warburton played Cad a bit
too smart. In the cartoons, Cad is a real stooge and he doesn't
talk much. Warburton simply put his classic "cocky idiot" spin on
the Cad character. Still funny, but different. I believe
the major reason this movie didn't take, besides lack of proper
promotion, is the fact that all of the familiar characters'
personalities were changed so much.
James Belushi was great to see in this movie.
"Underdog" proves again that James Belushi is much more tolerable in
movies than he is on television. He's awesome in movies!
For whatever creative liberties were taken in this
movie, you do have to hand it to the film's creators for giving us an
original production! This isn't the same ol' thing we've seen
over and over. It's a fresh take on Underdog, and very
watchable. I recommend "Underdog".
Jason Lee as Underdog/Shoeshine
Peter Dinklage as Simon Bar Sinister
Patrick Warburton as Cad Lackey
James Belushi as Dan Unger
Alex Neuberger as Jack
Taylor Momsen as Molly
Amy Adams as Polly
Brad Garrett as Riff Raff
John Slattery as Mayor
- You'll see a lot of General Mills products in
this movie. The "Underdog" (1964) cartoon series was created by
General Mills' ad agency to promote their products. "Underdog" is
often thought of as a Jay Ward creation due to the fact that it was
produced by his studio.
- In the cartoons, Riff Raff was a gangster
wolf. In this film, Riff Raff is a dog.
(2010): Incredible movie!
It's true to the spirit of the cartoons, but definitely animated
better. You can believe Yogi Bear and Boo Boo are real.
Their movements are very articulate. The dialogue and sight gags
are fresh and funny, and the voices are spot on. I had my doubts
when I heard Justin Timberlake was going to be the voice of Boo Boo,
but he sounds just like Boo Boo! Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear is
amazing. He wanted to put his own spin on the character so
popularly voiced by the late Daws Butler. This Yogi still sounds
much like the cartoon Yogi, but it isn't a clone. Dan's Yogi does
a lot of neat things with his voice that we never heard before in the
cartoons. The cartoon Yogi's voice pretty much stays in the same
loud, abbreviated mode.
The cast was great. I'll watch Anna Faris in
just about anything; she's funny and she turned in another great
performance. I am also impressed with the special effects and
stuntwork. There are a lot of elaborate ideas here. The
story of this film is pretty straightforward: Yogi and the crew
save Jellystone Park from being destroyed by a corrupt mayor. I
highly recommend this movie. It's definitely a family movie, but
with plenty of snappy humor for adults.
Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear
Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo
Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith
Anna Faris as Rachel
T.J. Miller as Ranger Jones
Andrew Daly as Mayor R. Brown
Nathan Corddry as Chief of Staff
Josh Robert Thompson as Narrator
Director- Eric Brevig
- In this movie, Ranger Smith is single. In
the classic cartoons, references were made on rare occasion to Martha,
Ranger Smith's wife.
- Nearly all of the songs in this film's soundtrack
are over 20 years old.
- Ranger Jones was an original character for this
- This film was made on a budget of $80 million
dollars. It made nearly $100 million at the box office in the
United States alone. Combine that with international ticket sales
and DVD releases and you've got a movie that did pretty darn well.
Comic Strip Movies
Comic strips are
owned by various syndicates, but they can be all lumped together into a
certain type of sub-genre. Comic strip movies are usually funny, largely
realistic, but with at least a few surrealistic quirks. For
instance, "Garfield" is almost completely set in a real world, but with
a computer-animated cat. "Dick Tracy" (1990) has an all-human
cast and is set in Depression-era gangster times, but the clothes and
sets look cartoony. The "Blondie" films truly do view like a TV
sitcom, but with hilarious sight gags. Some comic strip movies
have been hugely successful, some have not, but all are interesting to
fans of the comics and offbeat cinema.
Blondie Film Series
Brenda Starr, Reporter (1945)
The one with Joan Woodbury.
Brenda Starr (1976 TV)
The one with Jill St. John.
Brenda Starr, Reporter (1979 TV)
The one with Sherry Jackson.
Brenda Starr (1989)
The one with Brooke Shields.
Dick Tracy (1990)
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)
Gasoline Alley (1951)
Corky of Gasoline Alley (1951)
Harold Teen Movies
Harold Teen (1928)
Starring none other than Arthur
"Dagwood Bumstead" Lake!
Harold Teen (1934)
Li'l Abner Movies
and TV Shows (1940-1971)
Li'l Abner (1940)
Granville Owen & Martha
O'Driscoll as Li'l Abner & Daisy Mae. The best attempt, in my
Li'l Abner (1959)
Peter Palmer & Leslie Parrish as
Li'l Abner & Daisy Mae. The musical one. Has its charm,
but I like the straight 1940 film better.
Li'l Abner (1967 TV Pilot)
Sammy Jackson and Jeannine Riley as
Li'l Abner & Daisy Mae. Similar in style to the rural
comedies of CBS in the 1960s (i.e. Green Acres). This was a
trendy re-styling of the comic strip that doesn't register with a lot
of the strip's fans. It's kind of funky, but I do think it could
have proven to be a knockout series.
Li'l Abner (1971 TV)
Ray Young and Nancee Parkinson as
Li'l Abner & Daisy Mae. Another musical. They were
trying to revisualize the 1959 film. I think a straight
adaptation would have appealed more to audiences.
Annie Movies (1932-?)
Little Orphan Annie (1932)
Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995 TV)
Annie (1999 TV)
I love Popeye, but this movie is kind
of a stinker. It's a shame, because Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl
is absolutely excellent! This movie is really based more on the
Broadway musical of the time rather than the comic strip or cartoons
that were cool. Musicals just don't suit Popeye. "Annie" (1982), another comic strip
musical, WAS a hit later on.
Snuffy Smith Film
Private Snuffy Smith (1942)
Hillbilly Blitzkrieg (1942)
Harvey Comics Movies
Richie Rich was NOT
a box office success, but it ended up making a ton of money on
video! However, a theatrical sequel wasn't attempted. The
direct-to-video follow-up featured a different cast and had little
relationship to the first movie. "Casper", however, was a huge
box office and video success. However, it was followed by
not-so-huge (but still good) direct-to-video films. Baby Huey,
the third giant of Harvey Comics, was not given the respect of a
theatrical film with great special effects. "Baby Huey's Great
Easter Adventure" was direct-to-video, but had a cast of pretty notable
Richie Rich (1994)
Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
Casper Meets Wendy (1998)
Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)
Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999)
The Movies of Hanna-Barbera
was a huge hit and pretty much started the saga of live-action movies
based on one-time Hanna-Barbera properties. But for some reason, it was
followed by a newly-casted prequel that made few waves. "Josie & the
Pussycats" was unjustly a bomb. "Scooby-Doo" 1 & 2 were huge
hits and rightly so. Sadly, the cast of those films didn't want
to return and the series continued as made-for-TV/direct-to-video
time goes on, interest builds in live-action movies of other classic
The Flintstones (1994)
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Josie & the Pussycats (2001)
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)
Scooby-Doo!: The Mystery Begins (2009)
Scooby-Doo!: Curse of the Lake Monsters (2010)
Yogi Bear (2010)
Hong Kong Phooey (2011)
The Movies of Jay Ward
Numerous movies have
been made of Jay Ward's popular cartoon characters. Almost all of
them, unjustly, have been marked as commercial failures. The
strong exception is the original "George of the Jungle" film (the
second one really killed the idea of a series).
Boris & Natasha: The Movie (1990)
George of the Jungle (1997)
Dudley Do-Right (1999)
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)
George of the Jungle 2 (2003)
Video Game Movies
game movies is a weird genre. They can be funny or deadly
serious, but almost always remain in the realm of fantasy. There
are so many different companies that own video game properties, and
these properties are known to have passed hands over the years.
One thing is certain: almost all movies based on video games have
flopped royal. Many of them are quite good, but overlooked.
The first truly successful video game movie is "Resident Evil", which
has since become a pretty respected series. Others have proven to
be commercial successes in their own right, but video games is
definitely the last major media to make a successful transition to film.
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
I really liked this movie. It
was a big departure from the video games, but it was well-done with an
excellent cast. Since 1993, CGI has come such a long way that a
more accurate version of Mario could be produced. However, this
one was a commercial bomb.
Double Dragon (1994)
They say timing is everything.
Double Dragon was a popular series of video games in the 1980s.
By 1994, the popularity of the games was pretty low. If this game
had been released a few years earlier, it might have been a hit.
A "Double Dragon" movie might even be a hit nowadays as a retro piece,
but in 1994 it didn't really have a chance. Too bad.
Street Fighter (1994)
I like this movie for what it
is. It's corny, but colorful and fun. "Street Fighter" is
almost like one of those old adventure serials from the 40s or 50s, but
with better effects. It did, however, capture the look of the
games better than the 2009 reboot.
Street Fighter: The Legend of
I like this movie better than the
1994 film. This one is done like a "real" movie. It doesn't
look much like the games, but the basic ideas are still there...and
it's cool! Great cast, great effects, and great story!
Mortal Kombat (1995)
I hate the video games for their violence and difficult gameplay.
However, I loved this movie. It's nowhere near as violent as the
games, and the story brings these colorful characters to life. I
thought this film was very well done.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
I liked this film well enough, but it wasn't as good as the first
one. The first film had something really cool going, and this
second one just seemed kind of lazy script-wise. I did, however,
enjoy the cast...even with its changes.
Wing Commander (1999)
Lara Croft: Tomb
Raider Series (2001-?)
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
I love the Lara Croft movies, and
they did have commercial success, but critics just tear them
apart. This was a great film, and the second one was even
better. But somehow, despite the fact that they've made money,
they just haven't connected to the masses.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of
Resident Evil (2002)
This was the first truly successful
video game movie franchise. They're original stories based on the
already popular video games, but they have outshone the games in
popularity. In my opinion, each RE movie is better than the
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
House of the Dead
House of the Dead (2003)
House of the Dead II (2005 TV)
the Dark Series (2005-?)
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Alone in the Dark II (2008)
I really like this movie, and
the video game franchise was enormously popular, but it flopped
royal. The games, however, had already run their course by 2005
and I'm thinking many of the "game geeks" simply passed this movie by
because it wasn't trendy, anymore.
I like this movie, but it's a
different kind of film. It flopped in theaters and has been
followed by direct-to-video sequels. It might seem strange, but
the direct-to-video movies have received better critical acclaim than
Bloodrayne: Deliverance (2007)
Bloodrayne: The Third Reich (2010)
Silent Hill Series
Silent Hill (2006)
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2011)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
I like this movie, but it's kind of
hokey. It has great action and a great cast, and even worthwhile
funny moments. However, it just didn't do that well on a
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon
Siege Tale (2006)
This was a good, serious action
movie, but kind of hokey. I thought hitmen were supposed to be
inconspicuous and blend into the crowd. Who knew they were all
supposed to look and dress the same? Anyone who takes this movie
too seriously is an idiot.
Far Cry (2008)
Max Payne (2008)
The King of Fighters (2009)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time