Breaking News! Hollywood arrested on charges of raping people’s childhoods.

Wouldn’t that be great? Alas an industry doesn’t get to be held accountable to such charges. Oh well. Breaking news might be a strong term, as this is actually old news, but it sounds better as a post title. Why do I bring this up now? Let me tell you…

Earlier today the first real image from The Smurfs live action/cg movie hit the tubes, and it stinks. Now let’s be clear: I’ve never really been much a smurfs fan, photographic evidence to the contrary not withstanding.

(I’m the one on the left)

As such I’m not terribly invested in the Smurfs nor do I truly care how the film turns out. The picture released today however is indicative of a larger problem, one that afflicts a considerable number of remakes and re-imaginings. Take a look:

That would be Papa Smurf and 2 miscelaneous Smurfs in the middle of modern day New York. What little charm the Smurfs actually possessed was strongly connected to the medieval/fantasy setting. Knights, squires, horses, wizards, kingdoms and such. Dropping the Smurfs into modern day downtown New York makes about as much sense as setting Asterix in modern times, or making Marmaduke talk… oh wait.

I understand what Hollywood is trying to do. They see these old franchises which made them a shit ton of money back in the day and they think to themselves “It’s been a while now, there are whole generations of kids out there who have no familiarity with these properties at all. Why can’t we just bring them back and make all that money all over again?” Well Hollywood, it all depends. Some of these franchises are certainly ripe for re-visitation. Others, not so much.

The problem is on the insistence of “updating” the property for a new generation. That is not always necessary or even wise. Of course there will be exceptions: Battlestar Galactica was not only prime for re-release, but the re-imagining of the concept lead to a hugely successful product well in excess of the original. The thing to keep in mind is, the original BSG was a kinda crappy. Do the Smurfs need to be rebooted? Probably not. Are kids today just not interested in a fantasy setting? Considering the recent booming popularity of fantasy properties that seems like a stupid question.

It’s not impossible to do these things right. If only Hollywood understood more than money. Sigh.

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~ by Pagz on June 16, 2010.

One Response to “Breaking News! Hollywood arrested on charges of raping people’s childhoods.”

  1. If the Smurfs aren’t three apples high, I’ll be very disappointed.

    Actually, I’ll probably very disappointed regardless. -_-

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