It’s a Barbie world, and we’re all just Barbie girls, you know?
Well, that’s what Sony and Mattel are hoping with their deal to make a Barbie franchise. Not just one movie, nope, but an entire franchise dedicated to the live-action adventures of the irrationally proportioned doll. To be fair, Barbie has had pretty much every job under the sun, traveled the world, and owned her own house and car for quite some time now, so the narrative possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, Mattel’s sales of Barbie aren’t looking so hot; the toy company made a pretty penny from “Frozen” tie-ins, but Barbie sales are down 14%. Will a Barbie movie lure in younger moviegoers and the adults who played with her back in the day? Do we really believe that Barbie has always been about “female empowerment,” as per Deadline and the pitch that won over Mattel?
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what Barbie brings. Writer Jenny Bicks is already on board to pen the script; her credits include “Rio 2,” “The Big C,” “Sex and the City,” and “What a Girl Wants,” so she definitely knows how to go for the female audience. The question is whether or not that audience will bite.
“The LEGO Movie” has been a huge success, but not necessarily because of the toy tie-tin; remember how silly it sounded when it was first announced? If the movie is clever enough and fun enough to appeal to kids and their parents, a Barbie movie could take off despite the doll’s increasing irrelevancy. On the other hand, Mattel’s big-seller in the doll department are the creepy kids of Monster High. When can we get a movie about them?!
Photo by AP Photo/Alan Diaz
Gallery | 8 Cartoons That Deserve Their Own Movie
- ‘Aaahh!!! Real Monsters’
Way before Disney and Pixar came up with “Monsters Inc.,” Nickelodeon had “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” and the terrifying spook techniques of Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm. But even though they creeped us out as children — Oblina liked to pull out her organs and Krumm had terror-inducing armpit stench — we loved them.
While the monsters-scaring-humans movie has already been done, the creepy characters of “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” would offer a grittier version of the monster story because they’re, yes, real monsters.
Everyone’s favorite cynical, sarcastic cartoon teen is a true emblem of the ’90s. Last week we got a peek at what a “Daria” movie would look like (if Aubrey Plaza isn’t the perfect Daria then no one is), but sadly it wasn’t real. As the antithesis of Hollywood-depicted teens and high school life, “Daria” would be the ideal cartoon to make into a movie, especially with today’s nostalgic hipsters. We can still dream…
- ‘The Ren & Stimpy Show’
“Happy, happy, joy, joy” is exactly what we’d sing and shout if Ren and Stimpy got their chance at Hollywood. The infamously inappropriate (can you believe your mother let you watch the show?) cat and dog duo were undoubtedly weird and creepy, but their goofy bizarre humor would be perfect in a feature film; it would certainly be an instant cult hit (midnight “Ren & Stimpy” showings anyone?).
A collaboration between Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg, “Animaniacs” was like the kid version of “Saturday Night Live.” The show starred the Warners, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, three cartoon characters from the ’30s who were locked away in the Warner Bros. tower, as well as a large cast of characters, both real and fictional. “Animaniacs” was a truly inventive and witty show. If it was brought to the big screen, it would certainly live up to its reputation.
- ‘Space Ghost’
We were first introduced to the Hanna-Barbera superhero in the 1960s when he fought evil villains with his sidekicks and little monkey. Although the first Space Ghost cartoon ended in 1968, he returned in 1981, and again in 2008, when Cartoon Network got him his own talk show. If the yellow-caped hero has kept us entertained for nearly 50 years fighting bad guys and interviewing top celebrities, then why wouldn’t he be fit for the big screen?
- ‘Pinky and the Brain’
Airhead and genius mice taking over the world — could there be a better animated movie scenario? Pinky and the Brain, two genetically enhanced lab mice, were first introduced on a segment of “Animaniacs” and then got their own show for their own shenanigans. The duo could get any kid to laugh, and the chance to watch them devise (and fail at) more taking over the world schemes in a feature film would be nothing less than a blast.
- ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’
Nickelodeon’s “Rocko’s Modern Life” was a satirical ’90s cartoon with just the right amount of weirdness. An Australian kangaroo in Hawaiian shirts, a chubby cow, and a neurotic turtle are the oddest yet most eclectic bunch of characters the big screen could want. We would all love to see more of Rocko and friends’ wacky adventures in a major Hollywood (or Holl-o-wood, as they call it) movie.
- ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’
Cartoon Network’s “Dexter’s Laboratory” was the perfect show for any kid who wished they had their own secret lab. Dexter was always inventing the coolest things, from his Mom-droid (yes please!) to his Robotic Arm (that would certainly come in handy). If Dexter and his annoying sister Dee Dee got a chance to grace the big screen we bet we would get a look at a whole array of awesome inventions — and maybe even some fun movie merchandise to play with!
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