Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gritty Re-imaginings That Could Be Cool

I love cartoons. Regardless of what era you were raised in, cartoons were probably some of the first things you see on the television. As an adult I still love cartoons, although some of the innocence lost means most of the things I see appear kind of diluted or watered-down. But then a couple of years ago, I saw this;

Art by spacecoyote
I thought it was mighty awesome, although applying this in the actual The Simpsons television show means it will lose almost all of its charm. So no, I'm not suggesting that anime-nising The Simpsons might be a good idea. It's just that, a couple of nights ago I came across this fan art yet again, and that got me thinking about some gritty reboots of a movie or television series that might be cool.

#1 Gotham High
Full, high-res picture
Alright, this one is not actually a fan art. They were actually considering to take Bruce Wayne back to his school days with a cartoon series called Gotham High. Think of it as the Batman version of Smallville. However, it never went past the concept art stage and the idea was scrapped altogether.

Why it might be cool
We get to literally see Batman the way we've never seen him before. In fact, you get to see every character in the universe the way you've never seen them before. Bruce Wayne before he was such a grouch, The Joker when he was literally the class clown, Two-Face when he was still developing his oratorical skills and so much more. It might just be fun to see how everybody go about doing their things while not being adults. Remember Disney's Jungle Cubs [1996 - 1998]? I absolutely loved that alternate universe of The Jungle Book [1967].

But then again...
Freakin' Smallville, we all know what became of it. I have to admit, I love the series in the beginning. But then it got dragged on for far too long and by the time the season finale was announced, I forgot that there was such a thing called Smallville.

Gotham High on the other hand, might go stale even quicker than Smallville did. A high school drama with a Batman twist to it is indeed interesting, but it couldn't have gone for more than two seasons without sucking.

#2 The Flintstones
Art by tanglong
It's pretty funny how the artist re-imagined this one. Now, this one is a fan art. Notice how radically different it is from the subject material but still managed to look cool.

Why it might be cool
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there is a way to "improve" on The Flintstones. I just think this would be cool to take the series to an alternate universe where it would still be funny, but maybe raunchier and grittier. It was the days of the cavemen, after all.

But then again...
I based my opinion solely on that image up there. I have no idea how it would work as a movie or television show. I mean, what kind of story would it tell then? They can't just re-draw the characters and still tell the same story, can they? A gritty look but the same comedic overtones? No, that's not gonna work.

#3 Scooby Doo
Art by Mark Rudowski
Now this one I really like. While I never was a huge Scooby-Doo fan, I have seen a fair share of it and they make for good entertainment when I was much younger. But as an adult I simply like it for its sentimental value.

Why it might be cool
Scooby-Doo with a Supernatural [2005-?] or Buffy the Vampire Slayer [1997-2003] or even The A-Team [1983-1987] spin to it. You gotta see why it might be cool! I hardly watch either one of the aforementioned television series, but I know what they're about and somehow, giving Scooby-Doo that edgier look and feel just sounds like a mighty good idea. Imagine them arriving in the Mystery Machine, one by one they step out of it with a cool look on their faces, ready to investigate whatever was haunting a place... And they're not afraid to use their guns.

But then again...
Nothing. I don't see how this won't appeal to the 13 to 30 demographic who grew up watching zombie flicks or any other similarly-themed stories. Purists might argue that it might taint the reputation of a Hanna-Barbera classic, but I'm not suggesting a reboot for the franchise, just a spin-off, that's all.

#4 Wizard of Oz
Art by ColtNoble
Pretty awesome, huh? Totally different from the original, but it does look like it has something to offer. It looks a bit like a horror movie, and might not be a bad direction to take.

Why it could be cool
It could be quite an action-fantasy thrill ride. Think Alice in Wonderland but with scarier creatures and monsters. The best part, the essence of the story doesn't need to be changed. They're still on a journey to find the Wizard of Oz, and they have to battle all these creatures on their way. Accompanying Dorothy are her three friends; the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Not-so Cowardly Lion.

But then again...
I don't know exactly this would appeal to. Is it going to be horror, fantasy or God forbid, another Twilight-esque movie? The latter sounds improbable, I know. But movies are a huge business, and they're not going to make it if it appeals only to a very small, specific audience who's going to find this mash-up interesting.

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