A Plea to Save the Cartoon Animals From CG Remakes A Plea to Save the Cartoon Animals From CG Remakes
Cartoon CultureFeature FilmIdeas/Commentary

A Plea to Save the Cartoon Animals From CG Remakes

Power Salad, a comedy duo comprised of Chris Mezzolesta and Craig Marks, created this awesomely geeky musical plea demanding that vintage cartoon animals not suffer the ignoble fate of CG remakes:

  • I don’t blame em’. I’m sick of bad awful live action / CGI remakes of our classic cartoon characters. Garfield, The Chipmunks, Casper, Yogie Bear, Scooby Doo, the Smurfs, ect…

    Every time one is made, little effort is put into the story, acting and humor. If your doing a remake, direct it like the way “Tintin” or “Astroboy” was made. These films do very poorly every year. So why do they continue producing this garbage!?

    • Old Man Father Time

      While Astroboy’s weak point was story, the rest of that film was great! I’m glad I’m not the only one who liked it.

      • KS

        Not Everyone hates these kinds of stories,
        the people you hear complaining are people who care deeply for The classic characters and classic animation in general.

    • KS

      They make these films as they know they will bring in the money since they are popular characters.

      However they don’t have to use Live Action/CGI Animation every single time.

      The Films would be better if the characters did not look like Goofy Goofbags and have stupid storylines.

    • M. V.

      To understand why these films are made you have to look beyond the films themselves.

      Movies generate interest and awareness which generates all the junk that goes along with a Hollywood kid flick

      Nobody gave a shit about the Smurfs. It was a dead franchise for the most part. But with a new movie T-shirt makers, toy makers, video game publishers etc all have a reason to do Smurf products and suddenly the dead franchise isn’t dead anymore.

      sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Those Chipmunk films do very well. Yogi Bear….not so much.

      • Ryoku75

        They’ll be aware of an old franchise, but only until the next re-make is out or for 45 minutes, usually the former comes sooner.

  • KS

    Here’s your first supporter, As A Fan of Hand-Drawn Animation.

    I HATE those Disgusting Live Action/CGI Combo films and love the classic Hand-Drawn Cartoons and 1990’s Theatrical Animated Films.

    The Greatness of Theatrical Traditional Animation must be revived and spread, no matter how long it takes.


  • Quick-Draw McGraw the CGI movie starring Ryan Seacrest as the voice of the title character? Don’t give Hollywood any ideas!

    This video pretty much sums up every single problem I have with these movies. They practically covered everything except recycling the same “stuck in real-life New York” storylines that so many use, hiring celebs who only get in the movie for money and using cheap effects to try and make it a “3D” film when it really doesn’t need it (Matrix parodies, anyone?).


  • Oh boy, I’m speechless.

    Unlike the charlie brown music video, the point-across swearing was done for laughs.

    But they have a good point, I’ve got to buy junk food, a video game, or better yet save real-life animals.

    The problem is, my brother is consumed by these movies. Don’t know if I would still have seen these movies have I still been an only child, yet alone surfed the internet a much…

    But a chorus telling you to boycott these movies? Spot on!

  • They should save all cartoon characters, humans and animals, from any CGI remake period.

    Surprisingly, my cousin said that he watched the Smurfs movie and thought it was totally like the original– that’s just about as valid as saying the Smurfs are good for the economy. X.X

  • Old Man Father Time

    Awesome! More awareness for preserving original cartoons.

    Now let’s hear it from someone we can take seriously.

    • Ah yes, as Raymond and Scum once sang, “Nobody loves the comedy band”. Simply because we are consumers and devotees of cartoons and not purveyors of cartoons does not mean that we should not be taken seriously. Who else is writing 4-part acappella male chorales decrying the current state of Hollywood animation, anyway? :-)

  • Who’s the guy at 2:23 ?

    • Jay Sabicer

      That’s Tooter Turtle, one of the segments of King Leonardo. His catchphrase was “Help me Mr. Wizard” He led a Walter Mitty-ish life, wishing himself to be someone that he wasn’t. Mr Wizard (a lizard) would grant his wish and the remainder of each cartoon show how badly Tooter would be in his new vocation.

      • xevo

        Didn’t the wizard bring him back by saying: “Dreezle drazzle drazzle drome, time for this one to come home” or something to that effect?

      • No, you’re thinking of The Replacements.

    • That’d be Tooter the Turtle (who’d always implore that wise old platypus Mr Wizard to send him on some flight of fancy or other, only to yell out for him to rescue Tooter when the going got rough). Years ago in an episode of our radio comedy series Zot Theater, we imagined that Tooter asks Mr Wizard to make him one of the voices inside the head of former Pink Floyd leader and acid casualty Syd Barrett! Needless to say that didn’t go well. *Think* it was made by Total Television but not sure.

  • Tony McCarson

    ignore the CG remakes,

    and buy the classic animation dvds/blu-rays instead! ^-^

  • Sam

    I guess at least they create jobs for the over crowded unemployed animators out there.

  • Vzk

    They are making ANOTHER Casper movie?

  • TheDirtyVicar

    Agreed!! Although I’m equally repulsed by creepy zombie-humanoid characters like TINTIN and ASTRO BOY. I’d also add ill-conceived live-action bombs like MISTER MAGOO (with Leslie Nielsen), DUDLEY DO-RIGHT (with Brendan Fraser) and The FLINTSTONES (with Rosie O’Donnell as Fred). Those characters, and to a lesser extent those actors (excluding Rosie), deserve better.

    • Tony McCarson

      Actually, it was John Goodman as Fred Flintstone.

      Rosie O’ Donnell’s role was Betty Rubble.

      If Rosie O’ Donnell’s role was Fred Flintstone, that would be truly scary! 0_0

      • TheDirtyVicar

        Believe it or not, Tony, I was kidding. Take something for that irony deficiency ;)

  • Josef

    I completely agree with the message, but this video is extremely boring. Can someone remake it please.

    …Maybe in 3D.

  • Scarabim

    *shrug* I liked Astroboy. The animation and direction were indeed great. As for story…really, except for the one stupid political joke, the script was actually pretty solid, especially considering what it was based on. The original manga and anime revolved around a child’s death, after all, and I think Imagi had a lot of guts to stick to that story, and deserves kudos for handling it so well. Plus, Astro was very lovable and sympathetic in Imagi’s version, and had a depth of personality he never had in any other prior version. So it’s a shame the film failed. It didn’t deserve to.

    • Funkybat

      I enjoyed the 3D Astroboy film a lot, but then, I was never a huge follower of the original, so I might have felt differently if I were already an Astroboy fan.

      To me, the most off-putting and frankly distracting thing about that movie was having Nicolas Cage as the voice of Dr. Tenma. It’s not like he did a bad job, but his voice is so distinctive it took me out of the “world.” Granted, Nathan Lane is another actor with a distinct voice, but I was able to think of that character as “Hamegg,” not “Nathan Lane.” I would strongly recommend Nic Cage stick with live action, unless he were to use a very different voice for his animated voice work.

  • It’s a funny video, and it’s fun to lament the way classic 2D cartoons are turned into 3D CGI movies. But this isn’t some vast, criminal conspiracy. These are the movies that sell.

    The Chipmunk movies make an atomic brick-ton of money; that’s why they get made. 2D hand-drawn animated movies go nowhere; remember how Ponyo barely scraped together $10 million at the US box office? That’s why Disney drags its heels on the Ghibli movies (we’re now 5-6 movies behind Japan and the rest of the world).

    Yeah, it would be nice if real movies were being made again (aside from the Hallmark card “awards” season). But you can’t blame the conglomerates who own Hollywood for following the money. They’re going with the product that sells.

  • Blecch

    Ugh. This was terrible. Noble message or not. Only made it through 30 seconds. A parody of Sarah McLaughlin’s sad-faced ASPCA animal spots would’ve been 1000x times better.

    • Well then, you missed the whole point of the joke! Yay!

      • Ryoku75

        What was the point?

  • Bob

    Just wait and see. JUST WAIT AND SEE.
    Two words: FUNKY. PHANTOM.
    When Hollywood makes a Funky Phantom CG film, it’ll be politically incorrect, it’ll be humoruos, it’ll be self-aware, it’ll be the Enchanted of crappy live action movies. Beating a dead horse… with style. In other words… it will be AWESOME. And when they start shooting it… I’ll shot myself.

  • Andreas Wessel-Therhorn

    yes, unfortunately, as long as parents take their kids to see those movies, they will get made. even the dreadful chipwrecked, which is not so much a movie but a bad pun stretched out over 90 minutes, made more money than’Princess and the Frog’, which is why we are not still sitting at our desks at disney.If people stop going to see them , they will stop making them.

  • Christopher Smigliano

    BTW, How’s the HONG KONG PHOOEY CGI pic coming along?

  • Jim

    Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Quick Draw McGraw, The Smurfs, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat and others are my true heroes in animation. They don’t need no CG/live-action junk to make any better. Leave it alone!

  • Heehee!

  • Well, as for me, personally, even if my dream project, Dexter’s Odyssey, which is a multi-part(?) theatrical big screen Dexter’s Laboratory and the Powerpuff Girls crossover fantasy epic based on and inspired by and suggested by characters from both TV cartoons from the 1990’s, would blend Panavision widescreen and IMAX 65mm live action footage/elements with special and visual effects both old and new and animation (and primarily traditional 2D hand drawn animation of the Dexter’s Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls characters included in Dexter’s Odyssey, as well as cartoon characters created for Dexter’s Odyssey) and would really be more the saga of both Dexter and Lee Lee, the Asian friend of Dee Dee, Dexter’s sister (and a warrior princess from the Far East Asian-influenced land of Shangara and a member of a mystical god-like race called ‘avatars’ and who, according to prophecy, is destined to stop Mandark, the evil Dark Lord of the Avatars from conquering and enslaving a multi-style, multi-cultural fantasy world where dinosaurs still lived, winged fire-breathing dragons rule the air, and mystical god-like beings or avatars shape and keep balance between the realms of flesh, spirit and even nature, for good or ill), even with my focus squarely on Dexter and one of Dee Dee’s friends Lee Lee as well as both characters’ eyes, I shall try and make sure to put so much effort into the story, the acting, even the humor, and not just the special effects, the animation, and/or the design.

  • Retro00064

    I’m probably the oddball out of the bunch around here, but I actually like the Smurfs movie. The CGI Smurfs look great to me. I also like the 1980s Smurfs TV series.

    What I would call bad CGI versions of cartoon characters is the CGI Garfield Show. I haven’t actually watched any episodes of The Garfield Show, but I’ve seen what the CGI looks like in the opening title, and the “three-dimensional 2D” world (the characters are literally just simply 3D models of their 2D designs) just doesn’t look very nice/realistic to me. In comparison, the CGI Smurfs look decently realistic (all the more important with them being in a live-action setting).

    • Funkybat

      I strongly dislike the look of the 3D Smurfs, but at least the character animation is decent. The Garfield Show on the other hand drives me up the wall. I know it’s done on a far smaller budget, but it just feels completely wrong for those characters and that world. Also, 3D animation that “plain” just won’t fly these days, unless it’s some kind of parody of that era or an Adult Swim style meta-humor show. I’d much rather watch the Film Roman “Garfield and Friends” from the late 80s-early 90s than either the feature or TV 3D Garfield incarnations.

  • Blake

    I think the reality is it’s not hard to fu*ck up these CGI animated character flicks. The problem is whoever’s writing them and trying to make them hip and flooding the script with pop culture nonsense. Well they frankly just need to die…like now.

    Yogi Bear honestly wasn’t that bad , The guy Portraying Ranger Rick however was horribly bland. If they gave something like Huckleberry Hound to a team who has written fantastic comedy movies , I bet it could be good. Just my 2 cents.

  • Ryoku75

    If a share of effort were put into our re-makes and the studios didn’t obsess with pseudo realism I’m sure that re-makes would be more welcome. Until then, we have Yogi in New York trying to save Jellystone.

  • Ryoku75

    After watching the video ,I feel compelled to write something on this issue. The video itself was an amusing parody. For the record, I stopped these CGI adaptations after Rocky and Bullwinkle. Its a silly idea to take characters meant for 10 minute Saturday morning shows, and put them in 90 minute films. No amount of realism, Matrix shots, nor nutcracker gags can make up for uninspired writing.

  • Well there was the Sally Struthers-like pitiful plea, the admonition from the characters themselves, Alvin’s fulfillment of all our Smurf-crushing dreams, etc. Twas good enough for the Dr Demento Show and Cartoon Brew, who am I to argue…