Throwback Cartoons We Wish Were (Good) Live Action Movies
Bringing our favorite animated shows from the 80s and 90s to life, from plot to soundtrack.
Pitch: Set in Strawberryland, Connecticut in 1984, this quirky dramedy follows the professional and romantic misadventures of a talented young baker at her live/work communal baking co-op threatened by Big Pastry, gentrification, and diet culture.
Director: Sofia Coppola
Star: Saoirse Ronan (With the same hair color she had in Lady Bird) as Strawberry Shortcake
Production Notes: The soundtrack will be half electro-pop covers of 80s classics, half new songs by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Pitch: An homage to The Dark Crystal and The NeverEnding Story, featuring all-analog effects and animation as well as puppets and actors in costume. Get swept away by a family-friendly action-adventure romp that is not-so-subtly about the dangers of climate change.
Director: Michel Gondry
Star: Elle Fanning as Wisp
Production Notes: Starlite, Rainbow Brite’s talking horse (voiced by Judy Greer, in a fun case of casting against type), becomes a queer pop culture icon.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Pitch: In a future dystopia of anthropocene-style blight and crushing corporate oligarchy, a trio of lumberjacks stumble upon a pristine forest inhabited by magical witches, and unwittingly unleash an ancient demon that feeds on pollution and threatens to poison one of the earth’s last thriving ecosystems.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Star: Olivia Cooke as Crysta
Production Notes: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, and Tone Loc will reprise their roles as Stump, Root, and Goanna, this time in live action!
Jem and the Holograms
Pitch: A mockumentary-rockumentary set in Beverly Hills, where Jerrica Benton and her sister Kimber run a foster home and music label out of their late father’s mansion, using a leading-edge immersive entertainment technology called Synergy to transform Jerrica into Jem, an aspiring avant-pop star with a techno-feminist political agenda.
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Star: Janelle Monáe as Jerrica
Production Notes: Confirmed cameos include Monáe collaborators Grimes, Solange, and Erykah Badu.
She-Ra, Princess of Power
Pitch: High fantasy meets gritty mud-punk in a medieval space opera about a princess who is kidnapped to a faraway planet and made a warrior against her will. Once freed by her brother He-Man, she returns to lead an army of freedom fighters against her captor, the evil Hordak, a skull-faced tyrant who can transform parts of his body into tools and weapons.
Director: Ava DuVernay
Star: Krysten Ritter (in a long blonde wig) as Princess Adora
Production Notes: Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther) will co-run the Production Design, Costume, and Art departments (and they will win awards for all).