With the arrival of the latest live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, it seemed like a good time to raid the nostalgia lockers of our staff to find out which beloved cartoon from their past should be taken by its tail and turned into a live action film by Michael Bay or whomever. Below you will find a lot of semi-obscure choices and impassioned pleas, but no Snorks. Thank God. Also, no one went to bat for The World of David The Gnome, because none of our hearts are true.
The Mysterious Cities of Gold
I’ll bet anything that this one happens. It’s a humor and action-filled adventure, set in a little used time in history, starring a diverse cast (airing more than 30 years ago! Jesus, Hollywood, it’s not that tough!).
Based on a Newbery honor book (The King’s Fifth, by Scott O’Dell), this feels like a movie that could capture the nostalgia of kids who grew up in the ’80s and are parents now. I imagine the music could be referenced or remixed. They’d hint at the American score and fans would be like, “Ooooh, snaps, I like this,” then they’d play a version of the original Japanese score and the true Cities of Gold heads would know what’s up. –Steve Bramucci
The Black Cauldron
You’d be hard-pressed to find an animated Disney film scarier than The Black Cauldron. Which is probably why it’s never garnered the same level of adoration as many of its contemporaries. The animated Horned King and his army of the dead look like they belong in a Megadeth video more than a children’s movie. With Disney revamping old classics like Maleficent into more mature live-action films, The Black Cauldron would work perfectly as a CGI-heavy live action flick. It’s about time that a new generation of children come to fear a medieval army of skeleton soldiers. –Bennett Hawkins
I want Thundercats and I want all practical effects. No CGI. Use makeup, I’m sure the people who did Cats can be rounded up, Ocean’s Eleven style, to turn Zac Efron into a proper Lion-O and Josh Gad into Snarf. – Jason Tabrys
You thought one RoboCop was cool? How about a whole precinct full of them! One of them is a cowboy and another transforms. One guy has a motorbike with a giant drill on the front. There is a robot dog and this one dude has a laser bazooka. That’s C.O.P.S, man. A totally insane cocaine roller coaster of action and retro-future adventures about a team of cyber-enhanced police fighting crime in a future time. Besides all the awesome main characters, they had a pretty deep bench of colorful gimmicky villains who called themselves C.R.O.O.K.S. Imagine jewel thieves with machine guns in their chest or the guy with rocket boots. I’m not exactly sure about the plot beyond super-powered cops fought super-powered crooks. And they all had what I can best describe as psychedelic robot powers. But oh man was it ever awesome. I’d love to see it in live action, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Idris Elba. Pew Pew. –Jimmy Andreakos
What says summer blockbuster more than a nostalgic movie about kids doing every extreme sport imaginable? Rocket Power brought us the Rocket family and friends as they went back and forth between skate park and the beach on a daily basis. Honestly, 10-year-olds probably shouldn’t already be that hooked on adrenaline, but it makes for great TV regardless. Switching things up and adding a few years to the characters could make this project a win. Swae Lee from Rae Sremmurd obviously gets first dibs on playing Otto Rocket and Jonathan Lipnicki was born to play “Squid.” –Keith Reid-Cleveland
I still find myself saying “boosh” like the frat bro aliens. That show was brilliant. –Vince Mancini
Pinky and the Brain
Pinky and the Brain are former lab mice who were experimented upon by an abusive university researcher with plenty of National Science Foundation money to spare. After a particularly heinous round of gene-splicing, the two were transformed overnight into a pair of sentient, bipedal and human-sized mice. Yet before their abuser-cum-creator could smother them, Pinky bludgeoned him to death with an Erlenmeyer flask. Brain, who developed more mental acuity than his simpler, brute partner, feels he must cover for Pinky and ensure their escape from the clutches of an NSF hellbent on revenge. So he steals the dead professor’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird and, with Pinky in tow, races off into the horizon. –Andrew Husband
The Sword in the Stone
This will forever be my favorite animated movie. It’s old school, strange and every scene is entertainment to the max. I would love to see each of Merlin’s scenarios play out in a live action film, and have Sam Rockwell play him because he will (obviously from the above GIF) need dance moves. And who wouldn’t want to see a beach bum, Hawaiian-shorts-wearing Merlin? Your move, Disney. –Jameson Brown
So, which animated classic would you want to see in live action?