Earlier this week, we were pleased to find the very first drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Seeing these earliest forms of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello piqued our curiosity and led us on a hunt for early sketches of our other favorite cartoons. As you’d expect, these first renderings are somewhat strange to behold — faces seem distorted, eyes seem too big, and familiar characters have a foreign air. Needless to say, they’re all pretty fun. Click through to check out the debut sketches of Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, and more. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we felt nostalgic thanks to Videogum’s roundup of the best viral videos of 2011, a montage which features appearances by favorites like “Princess Girls Sing Nicki Minaj,” “Michele Bachmann Girls,” and “Goth Dudes Dancing To ‘Vogue.’” We were shocked by how nasty ancient graffiti could be. We took… Read More
Netherlands-based graphic designer and illustrator Dennis de Groot is pulling at our childhood-nostalgia-loving heart strings with his latest collection of colorful, stripped-down pieces. Appropriately entitled Bare Essentials, the minimalist series tips its hat to some of our favorite cartoons and films — from The Care Bears to The Smurfs to Batman — in their most natural forms. And while this is definitely a playful collection with overlaid imagery, vibrant rainbow hues, and iconic pop culture characters, it also explores the line between recognition and detail, questioning whether we need über-detailed art to recognize and appreciate familiar images, or if basic, simple, and sweet illustrations are just as impactful. While you ponder that, have a look at some of De Groot’s wonderful work after the cut, then visit Fubiz to view the entire series. … Read More
Last weekend, the cinemas of America were bursting with several fine films — Captain America and Harry Potter in the multiplexes, The Guard, The Future, Tabloid, Project Nim at the art houses — yet the big hit was The Smurfs, a CGI-enhanced big-screen version of the intolerable, one-joke cartoon series from the 1980s. The film has been a punch line for months, but when the receipts were tallied up, The Smurfs came within a hair of beating the weekend’s top grosser, Cowboys & Aliens, co-starring no less than James Bond and Han Solo.
Suddenly, the previous big question surrounding The Smurfs (“How the hell did that get made?”) has been replaced by a bigger one (“How the hell did that make so much money?”) and sadly, both questions have the same answer: the ’80s nostalgia factor. It is not a phenomenon confined to the singular occurrence of The Smurfs; my own visit to multiplex this weekend confirmed the existence, via trailers and posters, of similarly unnecessary and unwelcome remakes of artifacts like Conan the Barbarian, Footloose, and Fright Night. … Read More
Inspired by the recent arrival of the Smurfs movie in theaters, Slate created an interactive cartoon color wheel that includes some of our all-time favorite characters (like Beebe Bluff from Doug), and will take up a good chunk of your day, if you let it. Our only qualm: We wish that it came in poster… Read More
1. There was a box office stalemate between The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens over the weekend, with both films debuting at an estimated $36.2 million. The problem with this (at least for the producers)? Smurfs is meant to be the worst movie of all time, and Cowboys, which was supposed to be a big… Read More
A couple of days back, our own Judy Berman posted a wonderful essay called “In Defense of Turning TV Shows into Movies.” Give it a look, if you haven’t; it’s a reasoned, thoughtful, and persuasive piece. There’s only one problem: The Smurfs.
Yep, the 3-D CGI film adaptation of the inexplicably popular 1980s cartoon show hits theaters tomorrow, and every bit of information, every still, every trailer, and every promotional move (the movie’s website is smurfhappens.com — GET IT?!?!) has given us an unsettling, nauseous feeling, as though The Smurfs might be not only the worst movie ever made, but the worst thing ever made, our single lowest achievement as a species.
Okay, we might be overreacting. (But only slightly.) In fact, if The Smurfs merely turns out to be the worst movie adaptation of a TV show, that’s still a mighty tough competition. Though there have been occasional exceptions (The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, Firefly), the boob tube has seldom proven a starting point for fine cinema. After the jump we’ll take a look at the ten worst TV-to-movie adaptations — and trust us, it was a hard list to narrow down: … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we enjoyed this slideshow of the 10 most brutalized wangs in movie history. We went window shopping in communist Europe. We read Smurf facts. We were excited to see the hospital drama parody “Children’s Hospital” will make the leap from the web to Adult Swim. We weren’t surprised… Read More
In a battle of brute strength, agility, and rainbowed cuddliness, who would win – Care Bears or My Little Pony? Though the ensuing bloodshed is too horrific for cartoonist prodigy, Dan Meth, to illustrate, he does ponder what other 80′s toys would be like on the big screen. With Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe on the horizon, it is only fair (and logical) to imagine the blockbuster potential of such classics as “Cabbage Patch Kids,” “The Smurfs,” and the undeniable indie appeal of Wes Anderson’s “Teddy Ruxpin.” Care Bears would totally… Read More