This past week, I've been seeing commercials for a new live-action movie coming to theaters soon. No, it's not a new action flick. No, it's not one of the many new horror movies coming out soon. And no, it's not one of the thousand sequels coming out this summer. No, it's actually....Underdog.
Now, growing up I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Underdog cartoon. I've always loved the humor that runs throughout a typical Jay Ward cartoon, the absurdity, the artwork....pretty much everything! However, when I first saw the commercial, I thought it looked a bit goofy. When I realized it was an Underdog movie, I wanted to cry.
Why does Hollywood have such a penchant for taking great childhood cartoons and ruining them with bad live-action movies? Flintstones, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Inspector Gadget....each one a childhood favorite, and each one turned into a bad live-action movie. And that's just to name a few.
As a child, watching these cartoons, I wasn't sitting there thinking "Golly, I wonder what this would look like if it happened in real life?" Instead, I was sitting there, simply enjoying the cartoon, enjoying it for the inane action, the plot hole riddled story lines, and the bad animation. Apparently, simply enjoying the cartoon for the cartoon's sake isn't enough for some people, and so they have to take the cartoon and turn it into something it's not!
Granted, there have been a few successes when it comes to bringing cartoons to the big screen in a live format. Look at the current Transformers movie. Now, I haven't seen it yet (believe me, I will see it!!), but by all accounts, reviews, etc., it is absolutely an incredible experience. However, for every good Transformers, there's ten bad movies like Masters of the Universe (did we REALLY need Dolph Lundgren as He-Man?!)
You would think that the sheer volume of bad movies, bad reviews, bad numbers would discourage Hollywood from doing this sort of thing. Unfortunately the occasional blockbuster like Transformers only encourages them. Hence the Underdog movie. Hence the upcoming G.I. Joe movie that I've been hearing rumors of. Hence the endless parade of live-action cartoons that I'm sure we'll be subjected to in the future.
Remember the catch phrase "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!"? Well, when Underdog is arriving as a computer-enhanced talking dog, teamed up with Jim Belushi, maybe there is a reason to fear...