5 Cartoons That Should Be Adapted Into A Live-Action Movie


We love original films, but we also love films based on other properties. Comic books, novels, spin-offs, reboots, biographies — we love stories based on other stories. One of the trickier things to adapt, though, are cartoons. The Flinstones, Scooby-Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks, etc. have all been panned critically (and some financially). Adapting a cartoon is tough to do, but there are so much good material in cartoons. Remember that show you would stay up late just to catch a re-run you saw three other times? Or, how about that show where you would play along to the action? Those are the cartoons that you want to see done on the big screen (and done well!).

As a homage to my childhood, here are my top five cartoons that should be adapted into live-action films. When I was deciding on cartoon shows, I was thinking about ones that had more going for it than visual FX potential. I was looking at something that could be different, unique and provide some more compelling themes. Also, this is my personal list (of five) so of course there are tons of shows being left off. Also, these are in no particular order (though this next one will always be No. 1 for me).

1. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender takes place in a fictitious world where people can control (bend) the classic elements (earth, water, air and fire). There are four countries: Fire Nation, Air Nomads, Water Tribe and Earth Kingdom. There are people who can bend the element that corresponds with their country/culture. Only the Avatar can control all four and is a peacekeeper. The Avatar disappeared after the Fire Nation started a war. 100 years later and the Avatar, Aang, is discovered by a couple of young Water Tribe children. Together, they must realize their destinies and stop the Fire Nation from winning the war.

Or you can listen to Katara explain it all (no, I didn’t misspell Clarissa).

When M. Night Shyamalan made this into an abomination of a film, I was super pumped for it. The previews looked great, M. Night was a fan and there was a ton of money being poured into it. Then I saw it — it was so bad. The whole experience was awkward — from the wooden acting, to the rushed “plot,” to the poor effects and terrible action scenes; the film was one of the worst movies ever made. This is based on a cartoon that has such deep lore. It combines the classic hero’s journey with eastern philosophies. It has well-rounded and compelling characters with a plot of epic proportions. The TV show looks beautiful and has everything you’d want — action, comedy, adventure and suspense. The show was broken into three seasons for a connected, tight story arc. This is begging to be made into a quality trilogy. This show also has a musical score that goes with it and any cartoon with a musical score is automatically money.

I watch this series once a year. There are so many things I pick up every single time. I believe it can be adapted to the big screen. Come on! This is more obvious than the answer to a Celebrity Jeopardy question.

2. Voltron

Volton is an ancient defender who kept peace. You know what? I’m calling an audible. I’ll give you guys a choice: You can either watch the video below or you can read the rest of my synopsis.

During that peace, a confederate of planets allied together. When a new evil arrives to take over, Voltron is needed once more and is piloted by five new young pilots. In the newer series, the five pilots are chosen by the ancient Voltron and they are taken off of Earth to be the defenders of the galaxy.

So if you haven’t checked out the new Netflix series you really should. It improves on the original through deeper characters, deeper lore and more engaging stories. The characters have arcs and are developed enough to be distinguished. They have their own issues and struggles they need to deal with. Some are reluctant heroes, others are too eager. They go through self-doubt and are really trying to be these heroes. All the while, this group is also trying to learn how to be a team. The villains are actual threats. The original show felt a lot like Power Rangers (or Power Rangers feels like the original show? They both came from Japan and Americans wanted to just create new dialogue… Oh my god, Power Rangers and Voltron are the same thing! But Voltron has big cats and is a cartoon so it’s on here.). The original is formulaic with little tension. So if there is a live-adaptation of this movie, it needs to take notes from the Netflix series.

3. Thundercats


The Thundercats come from the planet Thundera. A small group of Thundercats escape from the destruction of their planet. The group stay in suspended animation until they land on the planet Third Earth. Their leader, Lion-O, who was 12 at the beginning is now an adult because his chamber malfunctions. The Thundercats now must learn about this new planet and face off against new threats.

Thundercats has a strong cult following. Lion-O being a child in an adult body and learning how to be a leader without much experience is a central issue. Thundercats brings in technology and mythology into its show. It develops a deep lore with a strong history, strong villains and strong world building. We learn about Third Earth as the Thundercats do; we become a part of their adventure. There is a wide group of protagonists who each have their own struggles and their own problems that they need to deal with. Thundercats have a great rogues’ gallery and a film could feature either the Mutants or Mum-Ra. Either one could provide more than enough problems for the cats. How could this be done? It could be a mix of CGI, practical and motion capture. It could totally be done and Third Earth could be visually stunning in an Avatar-like world. This whole show is loaded with more lore than a loaded baked potato (though not as tasty). The other great part of this show are the names: Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthra, Tigra. As long as Schnarf doesn’t talk we can avoid the cat version of Jar-Jar Binks.

If we’re making a list of greatest show songs of all time, this one is in the top 5. Totally kicks ass.

Need more convincing? Well, check out this fan-made trailer. It’s pretty badass.

4. Gargoyles

This is a world where Gargoyles and humans co-exist. The Gargoyles are stone during the day and come to life when the sun sets. In the year 994, they are dependent on the Scottish to protect them during the day and they return the favor at night. Unfortunately, one day the Gargoyles are betrayed by an obvious traitor bad guy and many of them are killed. Those that survive are put under a curse to sleep (be in stone form) until their castle rises above the clouds. Well, in 1994 when a wealthy billionaire, David Xanatos, buys the castle and reconstructs it above the clouds the curse is lifted. The Gargoyles find an ally in Elisa Maza, an NYC officer, and soon come into conflict with Xanatos and his motivations.

This is a brilliantly done show. The Gargoyles have no names (outside of their leader, Goliath) and are out of time. The classic out of time and adjustment story is there but there is also a missing sense of purpose. The Gargoyles feel a need to protect their castle but there are no people to protect. They are there to find their mission. The show also brings in supernatural elements and classical story elements. There are many Shakespearian elements in the show like the fairy king, Oberon. This show isn’t just action, it is about the characters and putting characters in situations. The development of these characters is very well done. Because most of the Gargoyles don’t have names they have to form their own identities. What I love is the villain, Xanatos. e is one of the best villains in any series. He is very much like Lex Luthor; charming, highly intelligent and cold to the bone (in other words the Lex Luthor we DIDN’T get in Batman v. Superman). This is also a naturally dark series, which seems to be all the rage (it’s better than trying to make Superman a moody depressing character). This could be a wonderful series to adapt live action. The show is deep with deep themes and character development which is what makes it such a great show.

5. He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe

He-Man takes place on the land of Eternia. It is a fantastical land where technology and magic blend together. When Prince Adam is in possession of the Sword of Power and declares “By the Power of Greyskull” he transforms into He-Man, a powerful protector of Eternia. He has his power through Greyskull, a magical castle protected by the Sorceress. He-Man and his allies protect Eternia from Skeletor and Skeletor’s allies.

So, this has already been made into a movie. Though can we really count it as an adaptation? Or a movie? It seems more like a big joke. It is pretty terrible. But let’s forget that for a second. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe can be adapted into a really cool adventure. The land of Eternia could be seen as dark or bright. The creatures are fantastical. It could be very much like a Conan the Barbarian-like world. He-Man also has fantastical powers. This is a superhero without the universe building. He-Man is a beloved property that people want to see. The visuals could be wonderful, this could be an epic franchise that spawns many sequels. This is a classic good vs. evil story. It looks at how people act and what people will accomplish with great power. Will it corrupt or will you rise above it? He-Man is a story of what makes people powerful and, in the case of He-Man’s allies, how to endure without it. Also, we can get one of the greatest cartoon intro songs of all time:

Which cartoon would you like to see be adapted to a live-action film? Comment below!


original link (https://creators.co/@moviemangreg/4079423)


One thought on “5 Cartoons That Should Be Adapted Into A Live-Action Movie

  1. Come on, the 1987 movie was not that Bad. 🙂 I am grateful for the fact that they did it. It’s 15+ years since the first rumors for a He-Man movie reboot surfaced. Still praying to Grayskull that it might actually happen. 🙂


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