Saturday, February 1, 2014

10 Properties That Disney Could Update

Yesterday Disney announced that they were making a live-action movie based on Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.  This is a nostalgic cartoon for many who grew up in the early nineties and is one of Disney's best television series.  There is of course a chance that this movie could turn into Alvin and the Chipmunks or The Smurfs, but in looking at the franchise there is a lot of potential for a really fun feature.  Here are ten other Disney properties that could succeed as a new movie or series.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
Not Disney's best cartoon, but still a lot of fun with a lot of cool designs.  This was a series based around the adventures of the "real" Buzz Lightyear in Star Command.  It expanded the roles of Zurg and the Little Green Men and added new allies and adversaries.  The series had an emphasis on comedy but with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, a more simple animated space adventure could find an audience.

The Coachman
I am not a huge fan of the idea of live-action movies about Disney villains.  Maleficent looks all kinds of awful and Cruella DeVil is pointless since there will not be a better live-action actress in the role than Glenn Close.  However the one Disney villain that could warrant a feature is The Coachman from Pinocchio.  This is one of Disney's best villains because there is absolutely no backstory given to him.  There are so many things that could be explored.  Where he got his island, why he doesn't care that Pinocchio is a puppet, why he doesn't care about his money, why is he obsessed with turning naughty boys into donkeys.  Cast Brian Dennehy in the role and you have a really eerie movie.

Elmer Elephant
There are several ideas I had for TV shows for Disney Junior.  I really think that an update of Adventures in Wonderland could work or new lessons from Ludwig von Drake would do well.  However I am surprised that Disney has never done anything with this Silly Symphony.  I ranked this as one of Disney's best Silly Symphonies, it is fun and feels just like a picture book.  These are pleasant, colorful designs that are just made for young audiences.  A cartoon or picture book series based on this would make for good educational entertainment.

Darkwing Duck
Newsarama ranked this as one of the best rogue's galleries of all time.  This is a Disney Afternoon series that maintains a strong cult following.  This character has even maintained his own comic book series a few times.  There is definitely a case of superhero overkill recently, but this is one of the best super subversions.

Ewoks.  You either love them or hate them.  The hate 'ems will definitely keep them from being in another Star Wars movie, but that just leaves them open for Disney to utilize them in their own franchise.  The Ewoks 1985 TV series does stand out among other eighties cartoons as having good character designs and writing.  It was a fun fantasy series that worked out well without having ties to the larger Star Wars universe.  I really love the backdrop of Endor and personally I love the Ewoks.  A new movie or series could be fun.  Although I do not think we need another live-action Ewok Adventure.

I would suggest an update of the Droids cartoon if only to use this awesome theme song.

Kim Possible
Part of me thinks that this would not work in live-action at all.  All of the characters are too caricatured and making the tone the series had more serious or more hokey would ruin it.  However this are big fun adventures with great characters that Disney should do something with it.  If they could find the right actors then a live-action movie or TV series would be really cool, like a James Bond for Disney.  But another cartoon, an animated feature or comic book series would be good to look into.  Still a large fan base for this.

Kingdom Hearts
Honestly, I haven't played the games because I just don't play video games.  But I am aware of the enormous following and what I have seen of this looks awesome.  I don't think that it needs an exact film adaptation, but rather just an ultimate Disney team-up.  If The LEGO Movie does as well as I think it will, then Disney should have their own ultimate team-up movie.  A movie not just combining the characters featured in the games but also Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, The Muppets and everything awesome Disney has access too.

Uncle Scrooge Adventures
If Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers succeeds then another DuckTales movie seems like an obvious follow-up.  However I would just adapt something truer to the Carl Barks comic books featuring Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck and their nephews.  These are some of the most beloved comics of all time and they have inspired several famous movies (or at least came up with them first).  There has not been a great adventure movie in a long time and Disney could do something really unique and different with these fun stories.  

Adventures of the Gummi Bears
No matter how ridiculous this title and premise sounds this is one of TV's best fantasies.  The series certainly focuses on funny cartoon gags, but there is a high fantasy feel to it and a lot of adventure elements.  There is definitely a feature film here somewhere.  Sort of like a Lord of the Rings for younger audiences.  The main group of inventive bouncing bears and their medieval forest setting certainly would make for something fun and truly unique.

This was the obvious choice for me.  An enormous fan base who swears by this series as well as dedication from its creator, Greg Weisman, who wrote its recent comic book series.  The idea of Gargoyles coming to life in present day New York offers a lot of opportunities for action and incredible visuals.  These are fun characters that are really well designed.  I can see an update of this working as a Marvel Comic, feature film or even primetime series on ABC (live-action or animated, could work).  This is an action fantasy story that is unlike any other.

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