The '80s are back in a big way in Hollywood. Reboots of venerable have made its way into movie theaters like Red Dawn, The Karate Kid, Total Recall, while RoboCop is due out next year. Cartoons from the 80s have been a popular choice among producers to be reintroduced on the big screen. Michael Bay has directed three Transformers movie, The Smurfs and G.I. Joe already have two in the bag, and let’s not forget that Garfield and Inspector Gadget have both gotten feature-length treatments. Even something like DragonBall managed to land a live-action version.
So what’s there left from the '80s to bring into the 21st Century with updated special effects? Children’s shows are good place to start! Here are a few options that’ll make children who grew up in the '80s nostalgic for their childhood.
Watching Lion-O and the rest of the Thundercats on the big screen would be a childhood dream realized if it were ever made. Today’s movie magic is more than capable of rendering an amazing vision of Thundera and Third Earth, as well making Mumm-Ra a terrifying live-action villain. Finding the right cast members to play the Thundercats will be tricky, and so will appropriately making them look feline while not looking silly. But as long as Cheetarah is a bonfide hottie, a lot of fanboys will be happy.
There is a movie adaptation of Fraggle Rock in the works, but it’s still in the very, very early stages of pre-production. In other words, it’s not moving fast enough for fans of the Jim Henson puppet show. The success of 2011’s The Muppets showed that today’s audiences are still willing to hit the theaters to watch good old-fashioned family fun. C’mon Hollywood! Get off your butts and make it happen already! If producers need any help as to how it should be done, just watch this awesome video of Ben Folds Five's "Do It Anyway" (and please cast Anna Kendrick in it!).
As beloved a cartoon as Voltron was for kids in the '80s, it'd be awesome to see it in the big screen. However, a live-action movie is highly unlikely. It’s difficult for Japanese anime to make the transition to live-action without bringing over the cheesy factor that's a staple of the cartoon genre. There was an attempt to produce a Voltron movie several years ago, but budgetary restraints killed the project. But how cool would it be to see Voltron in all of its CGI glory in the 21st Century? The writers would still have to explain why nobody attacks Voltron in the minute and a half it takes to form, but it’ll be worth it to see him kick butt in a live-action movie.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The 1987 disaster that was Masters of the Universe shouldn’t preclude a modern day reboot of the Mattel franchise (although to be fair, Frank Langella was the only good thing about that movie). He-Man needs a proper big screen movie adaptation, and it would be great to have it set in Eternia, not California. There have been news that people are interested in doing a live-action movie again, but it’s so early that it’s basically still a pipe dream. If it does end up happening, Battle Cat better be in it!
Speaking of riding on the backs of animals, Dino-Riders would be awesome to see in the theaters, perhaps in 3D! The series itself wasn’t a hit, but the toys the show was based on were some of the best to come out of the '80s. Let’s be honest, the premise of humans riding dinosaurs is laughable, but it would totally make your inner-child gleeful beyond words.
One of the coolest cartoons to come out of the '80s was Silverhawks. It was almost like Thundercats in space, but Quicksilver and the gang can actually kick butt. With "wings of silver and nerves of steel," Quicksilver was every boy's hero. They all wanted something like their impressive silver armor, with the cool flipdown visors that would engage when a fight was coming up. The futuristic setting would be great to see with today’s updated special effects. If the movie wants to be true to the cartoon series, they can’t get rid of Colonel Bluegrass’s silver electric guitar!
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In the year 2839, Monstar, the most evil of beings, escapes from prison on the distant planet Limbo. Star Gazer, leader of Limbo, requests help from the Earth to stop Monstar, who is bent on destroying the universe. In an attempt to help Star Gazer, five people are chosen to assist: Jonathan Quick (codename Quicksilver), twins Emily and Will Hart (codenames Steel Hart and Steel Will), Bluegrass, a cowboy who pilots their ship, The Mirage, and The Copper Kid, a being from the planet of the Mimes. However, to withstand the enormous pressures of space, the team is transformed into the Silverhawks, beings who are part metal, part human and possess the wings of hawks.
The pilot episode relates the efforts of the Silverhawks and their leader Star Gazer (who commands from his orbiting base, Hawk Haven) to stop Monstar and his evil army (Melodia, Molecular, Mumbo Jumbo, Hardware, Windhamer, and Buzzsaw) from destroying the universe.