A-List: Cartoons We Wish Were Live Action

By J. Don Birnam

May 26, 2016

I don't think all of those are bears.

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The opening of The Jungle Book led us to look at some of the worst live action movies turned into cartoons. This week, Disney returns to the well once more with Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to the mostly successful live-action version of the classic Lewis Carroll tale. We've also seen, in recent days, a new trailer for a live action Beauty and The Beast, Dumbo is on its way and, in other studios, everything including Thundercats is joining the nostalgia live action train.

So, what are some of the top cartoon movies on our “let's hope they do these too” wish list? More than a wish list, I should say, the list today is really just a “biding of time” list. You know all of these will eventually be exhausted into live action films, and then some. Let's just hope they're not as bad as Richie Rich or Josie and the Pussycats.

If you wish to share some of you own wish lists, find me on Twitter.

The odious five this time around are:

5. The Care Bears

Yes, the Care Bears. Spanning dozens of merchandise items, endless cartoons, and a couple of decent movies for kids, this one has a significantly high degree of difficulty as to be intriguing. If they can have little teddy-like bears in Return of the Jedi, surely they can make it happen here, right? Movies like The Jungle Book have shown us that talking animals are really no challenge these days. The difficult question would be how to get the Care Bear stare to work - but nothing CGI can't cure.

Moreover, the movie has a built in sequel - the Care Bare Cousins can show up the second time around if there is an additional need to save the day. And the baddies can go from evil faces in books, to mean, devil-like spirits. On top of it all the corny message of love and friendship will be sure to warm the hearts of parents looking for easier messages to send their movie-faring children.

The problem, of course, is that the target audience for this film is so young that few if any would watch it in live action form. Except of course maybe me.


4. He-Man

Okay, so the Care Bears may have been too much of a…eh, girly, start, so let's counteract it with some testosterone and look to the muscle-bound, scantily clad superhero and his troupe for the next entry.

On second thought, the outfits in this one would be gayer than even the Care Bears movie. Oh well. Pay no attention, I know you're already plotting whether Christopher Walken or Stanley Tucci will be playing the deformed Skeletor. In fact, there are so many characters in the “Masters of the Universe” universe that spanned the brawny hero that the spinoffs, prequels, and reboots write themselves. You'd have to have Battle Cat in the original, of course, a task obviously fit to Andy Serkis. Man-At-Arms would be the obvious sidekick, and She-Ra has potential for many actresses from Megan Fox to Scarlett Johansson.

From there on out, however, the sky is the limit. The number of odd creatures, evil beings, misunderstood kings, and heroic figures is staggering. If Thor can do it, then surely one of the most popular cartoons from the 1980s can too, right?

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