the smurfs

15 More Bizarre Kiddie Cartoon Conspiracy Theories

Last year, we may or may not have ruined your childhood with this list 10 Bizarre Kiddie Cartoon Conspiracy Theories. But people are resilient, and the capacity for the denizens of the Internet to churn out more conspiracy theories is endless. So in case your innocence is still intact, we’ve dug up a few more cartoon conspiracy theories to keep you up at night, adding animated films into the mix for good measure. Now, of course, all of these should be taken with a grain of salt — Wild Mass Guessing as they tend to be. Check them out after the jump, and if we missed your favorite, be sure to add it to the collection in the comments. … Read More

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Early Sketches of 11 Famous Cartoon Characters

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

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

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

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Minimalist Images of Beloved Childhood Characters

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

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How to Blame ‘The Smurfs’ for the Debt Ceiling Debate

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

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Awesome Infographic: The Cartoon Color Wheel

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

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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

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The 10 Worst TV-to-Film Adaptations

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

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe are touring together this summer. The last time they were on the road it was 1984, and Ozzy snorted Nikki Sixx’s urine on a dare. [via MTV]
2. Some early pics from the set of The Smurfs movie are out, and Hank Azaria makes a much better… Read More

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What’s on at Flavorpill: Links That Made the Rounds in our Office

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

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