Colorado Springs
60° F
Overcast
Overcast

5 cartoon favorites that failed as movies

By Arden Davidson, Contributing writer
Published On: Jun 15 2011 09:43:59 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 10 2014 09:09:50 AM CDT
Boy watching cartoons on TV

iStock/ryasick

Almost every child has imagined his favorite cartoon character turning into a real person or animal. Who wouldn't want to hang out with a dog that can talk or a friend who solves mysteries?
Apparently quite a few movie studio execs had these same thoughts when they decided to bring small screen cartoon characters to the big screen using actors instead of drawings.

Some of these endeavors were relatively successful. For example, although critics' opinions were mixed, "Transformers" and its sequels have proven to be huge commercial successes. Unfortunately, more often than not, cartoon characters that turn from cute animations to real actors wearing goofy costumes and spouting ridiculous dialogue, tend not to fare so well.

Up first, here's something you won't really like ...

Rocky and Bullwinkle movie

No. 5: "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle"

One of the best things about the original Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series was that it was actually funny. Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel had hilarious run-ins with the evil Natasha and Boris in the early 1960s.
In 2000 these humorous, engaging characters became three dimensional but, sadly, fell flatter than fans ever could have imagined.

With big stars like Renee Russo playing Natasha and Jason Alexander playing Boris –- not to mention Robert DeNiro as the "Fearless Leader" -- this movie actually had a chance of being "not horrible." But alas, it blew that chance by being unfunny, unoriginal and remarkably boring.

If you can't make a squirrel and a moose entertaining, you're just not trying very hard.

And clearly, neither were the producers of our next pick ...

Scooby Doo 2 movie

No. 4: "Scooby-Doo: The Movie" and "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed"

The first adaptation of this lovable dog and his entourage was marginally entertaining at best. So what made the studio decide to release a sequel?

Apparently it was a combination of greed and the desire to ruin the reputation of one of the "grooviest" animated crime-solving teams of all time.

The animated gang who traveled around in their "Mystery Machine" exposing makeshift ghosts and getting called "meddling kids" were cheesy, fun entertainment at its best.

Unfortunately, the big screen version starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar just didn't cut the Scooby snacks. And the sequel would have even ruined cartoon Shaggy's appetite (which is no easy task, considering that he always had "the munchies").

Of course, some appetites can't be ruined no matter how lousy the film, as you will see next ...

Fat Albert movie cast

No. 3: "Fat Albert"

Fat Albert looks as if he could swallow just about anything. But he may have bitten off more than he could chew when he evolved into a "real person" in 2004.
It's not that Kenan Thompson is a bad actor. It's not even that turning this lovable Cosby character and his junkyard homies into a full-length feature film was a terrible idea.

The problem, more than anything else, was the atrocious script and the practically nonexistent storyline.

Bill Cosby is known for his ability to launch amazingly successful TV shows and tremendously horrible movies. Why he can't transfer his magic from the small screen to the big screen is a mystery even Scooby-Doo and the gang wouldn't be able to solve.

True to form, Cosby was way off the mark with this cartoon-to–movie adaptation. Hey, hey, hey, it's a baaaad movie!

But not quite as bad as the next one on our list ...

Popeye, Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall

No. 2: "Popeye"

Apparently someone forgot to eat his spinach when making this movie, because this sailorman adaptation sunk. Big time.

The fact that the cast was ideally suited for their roles could have made this movie as memorably classic as the cartoon it was derived from. But instead, the fact that Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelly Duvall as Olive Oyl couldn't save this film makes it all the more disappointing.

This movie was so "all over the place" that it was almost as if the director filmed a bunch of segments and then randomly spliced them together and called it a movie. It was actually painful to watch because animated Popeye is such an icon.

Live-action "Popeye" came close to ruining that legendary status.

But we can't let a failed film adaptation destroy our memories of our beloved cartoon characters ... or can we?

The Flintstones movie

No. 1: "The Flintstones"

Miscast, misdirected and entirely missed the mark. And these are the film's best qualities.

"The Flintstones" was one of the greatest cartoons of all time. It was witty, it was relevant and it was highly entertaining. The movie version, however, should have crawled back under the Bedrock it came from.

John Goodman as Fred Flintstone? OK, we can live with that. Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble? Since when was Barney a whiny little nerd? But worst of all -- Rosie O’Donnell as Betty? Come on, what were they thinking?

Add to that debacle the complete lack of story and the piecemeal direction, and what you have is the absolute worst cartoon-to-movie adaptation ever conceived.

You don't have to live in a cave to know a stone cold disaster when you see it. (But please, don't see it).

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.