There was a weird trend that started in the ’70s when live entertainment started to bleed into Saturday morning cartoons for kids. Show as Happy Days gave us a cartoon featuring the Fonz. Levern and Shirley in the same way Mork and Mindy also maintained this trend. Then in the early to mid-1980s, popular films like Ghost hunters (1984) became a mega-hit with an equally popular toy line called The real ghost hunters. But not all franchises are this popular. Here’s a list of some lesser-known animated adaptations of popular movies that Hollywood tried to capitalize on even though the kids in question weren’t old enough to see the momentum of what their shows were based on.
Teen Wolf (1986-1987):
Teen Wolf (1985) with Michael J. Fox tells the story of Scott Howard, a clumsy only child who lived with his father Harold. While trying to fit into his high school, Scott discovers that he comes from a werewolf lineage, and rather than hiding his newfound powers, he uses them to become the most popular kid in school. A comedy bordering on the boobs, the film is full of drug references, wild teenage parties and scantily clad high school girls. The perfect scenario for children’s programming. According to Wikipedia, the series has changed a few key things, like giving Scott a little sister named Lupe, who doesn’t know if she has the lycanthropic gene because she’s too young to know and sometimes it skips a generation. Grandparents have also been added to complete the family. The show, however, tried to tackle heavier topics such as growing up and integrating, civil rights and fanaticism against those who are different. Running for just two seasons, the series only produced 21 episodes in total.
The Excellent Adventures of Bill and Ted (1990-1991):
After the moderate success of the first part of the Bill and Ted franchise, Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure (1989), where the boys travel through time with the help of their future friend named Rufus to find historical figures to pull off an important historical presentation, get their group Wyld Stallyns off the ground and create music to save the world . It’s actually a half-decent concept for a children’s show. Played by their on-screen counterparts, the show brought back Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, and comedian George Carlin to play Bill, Ted, and Rufus, which was pretty incredible considering the original cast rarely gets involved in spinoffs from cartoons. In the show, the boys are tasked with traveling through several time periods and making sure that the story more or less follows the course. Along the way, they meet several historical figures while also enlightening young audiences on why these people have shaped the world. Like I said, this is not a bad way to teach history to children. Sadly, the series only lasted two seasons, airing 21 episodes during its airing.
Back to the future (1991-1992):
Without a doubt, one of the most popular franchises of the 80s, Back to the future (1985) is one of the most recognizable series in movie history, leaving it ripe for the animation treatment. The plot revolved mostly around Doc Brown and his family in Part 3, where they embark on a myriad of misadventures over time with the help of a newly modified DeLorean and, on occasion, their time steam train. Similar to Bill and Ted in concept, the show starred Mary Steenburgen reprising her role as Clara, Doc’s wife, and Thomas F. Wilson returned as Biff Tannen who now has a son, Biff Jr. previous one and this was the addition of live- action segments where Christopher Lloyd plays Doc Brown (although voiced by Dan Castellaneta in the animated role) showing different science experiments with his new lab assistant played by none other than Bill Nye the scientist. According to Wiki, NyÃ© Also served as the show’s technical advisor, which led him to star on his own show. The series ran for 26 episodes over two seasons, derived from a comic book, and aired on ABC, Fox and ultimately rerun on Nickelodeon.
Highlander: The Animated Series (1994-1996):
Highlander: The Animated Series functioned as an absurd spin-off of the film series in the same way that all mountain dweller live action sequels did. Take the idea, forget where it came from and add a bunch of weird crap that has nothing to do with the first movie. I like mountain dweller (1986), but damn it if these ridiculous sequels weren’t stupid. They made Immortals aliens in the second and wizards in the other or something like that. I do not know. We do not care? The franchise has always been a total mess, even until moderately decent Highlander: the series from 1992. But the animated version could well win “The Prize” of the most daring madman.
Ready for this one? Here’s the Wiki synopsis, because I’m way too tired to try to explain this mess:
The series is set in the distant future of the 27th century. The last living descendant of the original Highlander fights against the evil dictator Kortan.
The story takes place on post-apocalyptic Earth, after a meteor collision nearly wiped out all of human civilization after unleashing nuclear weapons. Following this disaster, Connor Macleod (the protagonist of the original film) and the other Immortals forgo the Fighting Game until only one Immortal remains to win the Prize. Instead, the Immortals swear to preserve human knowledge and help humanity. They throw their swords and call themselves Jettators (from the French throws, “throws”).
But an Immortal, Kortan, refuses to take the oath, he still seeks the Prize and now wishes to rule the world. Connor challenges Kortan to a duel and is defeated and slain, as any Immortal who breaks the oath is doomed to death. However, with Connor’s death comes the prophecy of the rise of a new, unbound Immortal who will defeat Kortan. Undisputed by the Jettators and nearly impossible to kill by mortals, Kortan established an empire controlling most of the planet, which he ruled from his stronghold Mogonda.
Seven hundred years later, a Highland youth named Quentin is killed while trying to defend his clan, the Dundee, from the slavers of Kortan. He is the prophesied Immortal and comes to life. His dying mother reveals that his true identity is Quentin MacLeod of the MacLeod Clan, “The Last of the MacLeods”. Quentin meets the Jetttor don Vincente Marino Ramirez, who becomes his mentor. Ramirez teaches Quentin the Immortals and his mission to confront Kortan, and trains him in combat.
Accompanied by Ramirez, his foster sister Clyde, and their pet Gaul, Quentin searches for the Jettators to acquire their Quickening and knowledge, not by beheading, but by sharing as MacLeod and the Jettator grab the same sword simultaneously ( although the effects are sometimes just as destructive for the surroundings). As a result of sharing, the Jettator becomes lethal and often his sword breaks to signify it. With the wisdom of RamÃrez and the Quickenings of the Jettators, Quentin may be able to destroy Kortan.
Did I mention Clyde’s hybrid monkey / canine animal named Gaul. Oh my God!!! It is terrible.
This mess aired on USA Network (if that tells you anything) and the show sort of hit 40 episodes in two seasons and just as quickly was forgotten. With a bit of luck.
Based on the hit 1995 film, which was based on a children’s book of the same name, the antics with Robin William drew a huge fan base with children and adults alike, so it was only natural to capitalize more on its success. by putting on a show. Quite close to the original script, Jumanji (1995) followed many of the same story rhythms where kids try to help Allen Parish (Williams) complete the game and save their town from the hordes of beasts, hunters, and other dangers found in the game. of magical society. Simply developing the original concept, Jumanji aired on the UPN network and had a very decent run compared to other movie properties running 40 episodes over three seasons.
The Mummy (2001-2003):
Riding on the massive success of the first two films The Mummy (1999) and The return of the mummy (2001), the animated series is loosely based on the script, only making Rick and Evy O’Connell’s (Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz in the movies) son Alex from the second film the focal point of the show. After accidentally strapping an ancient artifact to his wrist, Alex and his family travel the world trying to find a way to remove it, while being pursued by Imhotep and other ancient evils. Not much more to say about it because it is quite simple in concept. The show aired on Kid’s WB and went through two seasons and 26 episodes.