“Smurfs” could trigger more ’80s nostalgia: What’s next?

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: Smurfin’ Smurfs. The Hollywood Reporter estimates Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens” will collect $13-$13.5 million on Friday, which would mean about only $38 million for the weekend.

Likewise, Sony Pictures’ “The Smurfs” should make around $38-40 million over the weekend. In other words, Han Solo and James Bond may have their asses kicked by a bunch of creepy blue Happy Meal toys.

‘80s cartoons and televisions are box office gold. “The Smurfs,” “Transformers,” “G.I. JOE,” and even “Alvin & the Chipmunks” have captured the hearts and minds (and wallets) of those ‘80s kids dying to reclaim a piece of their childhood, simultaneously introducing the gone but not forgotten franchises to their offspring.

Here’s a few ‘80s properties dying for a big screen reawakening:

My Pet Monster: As one of the few plush dolls marketed to boys at the time, My Pet Monster proved extremely popular throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. The monster had blue fur, horns, and a fanged grin — and was most recognizable by his orange handcuffs, which kids could wear and break apart in a fit of monstrous rage.

The doll spawned a live-action direct-to-video movie in 1986 about a boy who becomes the Pet Monster after being exposed to a statue. Yeah, you read that right – a statue. The kid then transforms Incredible Hulk-style whenever hunger strikes. You wouldn’t like this kid when he’s hungry, you know what I’m saying?

Monchhichis: fuzzy Monkey-like creatures who live in the tall trees of Monchia The tribe’s leader, Wizzar, was a wizard who created magic potions to defeat their enemy, the evil Grumplins of Grumplor. Does this sound ridiculous? Absolutely – but with one horrible animated kids’ movie after another, it could easily be a reality.

Jem and the Holograms: the joint collaboration of Hasbro, Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions, the same team responsible for G.I. Joe and Transformers, Jem was about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures.

Though a film adaptation could be destined for disaster (“Josie and the Pussycats,” anyone”) it could benefit by being as over-the-top and absurdly ‘80s as possible. No one is better suited to play Benton and her glamorous alter-ego than Lady Gaga. I would gladly lay down some cash to see that!

Thundercats: Sword of Omens! Give me sight beyond sight! It goes without saying that the Thundercats were bad-ass. Cat-like warriors that live in giant pyramid and battle lizard monsters all day? Sign me up! Vin Diesel will eventually get tired of making movies that are Fast and also Furious, so I’m sure he’ll be available to play Panthro when the time calls.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: By the power of Greyskull, I have the power! Don’t get me wrong, the 1987 film is a classic in its own right – as a complete ripoff of Star Wars that bares little resemblance to the cartoon series – but it’s about time for a proper adaptation that takes place in the magical real of Eternia.

I want to see He-Man ride Battle Cat, sword drawn and speeding toward Skeletor on Panthor, his ram-skull staff raised high. I want Mer-Man and sea monsters, Orko casting crazy spells and an all-out battle at Snake Mountain. After seeing The Red Skull in “Captain America” all I can think about is a blue-skinned, yellow-faced, purple-hooded Skeletor cackling with delight as he commits one evil atrocity after another.

What do you think? What ‘80s cartoons and properties would you like to see on the big screen? Maybe you’re more of a “Dino-Saucers” person? Or maybe it’s time the “Go-Bots” get their time to shine?

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