A live-action Marsupilami movie

Those of you who only know of Marsupilami from Disney’s Raw Toonage 20 years ago, might be surprised to learn that the character has been a beloved Belgium comic book character since 1952. And you might even be more surprised to know there’s now a French live action/animation feature coming out next month.

Directed and starring Alain Chabat (Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra) HOUBA! On the Trail Of The Marsupilami opens April 4th in France – and, though furry fans may like it, it looks pretty dumb. Click here to see the trailer.

(Thanks, Tony McCarson)


  • http://909pop.com Mike Scott

    I really liked Marsupilami. In the 1:49 trailer, there’s about 3 seconds of Marsupilami. I hope they’re not going to pull a Pink Panther movie where there’s an animated intro and the rest is live action. (Ok, I was young when I watched those and should have known better but man was I disappointed, had amazing expectations of a full-length animated movie.)

  • http://erikbutter.blogspot.com Erik Butter

    and here is a song by a dutchman singing about being best friends with the furry, long tailed creature:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKLUQbbSWZE

    enjoy!

  • jerome

    Needless to say that the Disney cartoon was an absolute treason of the original character created by the great belgian comic artist André Franquin…

    • dbenson

      Didn’t the Disney relationship end up in court?

      • Inkan1969

        Yes, it did. I don’t remember the exact details off the top of my head. But I think the lawsuit’s premise that Disney failed to provide the exposure of the character that Franquin (Franquin’s estate) were expecting. That was pretty much, too. All they did with the character was one obscure TV show spun off from “Raw Toonage” with banal script premises and cheap animation; it had nothing in common with the original comic.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Sad they failed miserably there.

  • http://paperwalker.blogspot.com Florian Satzinger

    Oh man, to me this character lives and falls with the original design of Andre Franquin. This here is not the Marsupilami, this here is… I don’t know. This life-action adaption counteracts the whole atmosphere of Franquin’s smart and well designed/drawn comic books.

  • http://she-thing.blogspot.com Caty

    :’(

    Boohoohooo

  • Christopher Cook

    Of course it looks dumb. But be grateful that a live action/CGI feature of “Bonkers” hasn’t been greenlit.

    • Some Mammal

      That… actually might not be so bad. After all, “Bonkers” was all about humans and cartoon characters interacting, except in the show everyone was animated anyway which kind of defeated the premise.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Of course Bonkers was going to be some Roger Rabbit series or sequel in development itself, so whatever.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    The trailer certainly puts more emphasis on it’s human cast than on the titular character they’re suppose to be finding (kinda like watching Caddyshack for my mom as she thought it was all about the gopher). Hopefully it might prove an interesting view if they don’t let their fans down in the end.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    The trailer has orange & teal color correction cranked up to 11, so it will be a blockbuster.

    Teal and Orange – Hollywood, Please Stop the Madness

    • http://saturnome.blogspot.com/ Saturnome

      I wonder if France is more into Teal and Orange than Hollywood. I was watching a new TV Lucky Luke cartoon recently, and there was nothing else on screen but these two colors.

  • uncle wayne

    I thought Marsupalami was a great character. He was quite fun!

  • Toonio

    Marsupilami! OMG and I thought I was the only one that liked it (both books and cartoons).

    I remember when I used to talk about it in parties and people gave me that weird look. ^_^

    Hope they’ll bring a dubbed version.

  • Lib

    It does look dumb. Although not any more dumb than, say, any Madagascar movie.

    I think the Marsupilami looks kind of cute, but by making his eyes rounder and more animal-like, technically taking the space only the tiny pupils take in the original drawing, they lost the craziness of the character.

  • http://www.coffeeroll.com JPDJ

    It looks dumb. But no more than any other comedy trailer that’s come out the past year.

  • Scarabim

    ^Great article, Frank. Thanks for sharing that. God, I think it always bothered me that so many live-action film trailers have the same Harry Potter look these days. Now I know. Jesus.

    Well, it could be worse. Film colorists could suddenly fall in love with the brown and avocado color palette of 1970′s home decor…avocado-colored toilet, anyone?

    • xevo

      Avocado and coppertone … I think every major appliance came only in those colors during the ’70s.

      • Bobby Bickert

        I have my mom’s avocado Sunbeam Mixmaster from 1972. And she still has a harvest gold wastebasket that was bought in 1972 in her guest bathroom.

  • Sherrie

    Nooooo that picture is frightening! I loved the design in the comics, but the 3D version is creepy. I can’t even imagine how it’ll look when it moves.

  • Thom Foolery

    Well, at least it’s comforting to know that America isn’t the only country producing lousy CG/live action film adaptations of popular cartoons.

  • http://fartoonsblog.blogspot.com Ryan

    It doesn’t look any dumber than any other CG movies.

  • Michel Van

    1 minute 52 second Trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihAmRtOhy6M

    the Tailer has me not convinced to go too a french cinema nearby…

  • http://www.kicreativestudio.blogspot.com Ki Innis

    It’s really beyond me.

    Why do producers keep making movies like this? A great amount of the appeal of characters like Marsupilami, Smurfs, Tintin or even Yogi Bear is the hand-drawn quality of the characters—- particularly, the choice of line by the artist.

    Despite what box office sales say, I think people loved the Smurfs because of the way they were rendered by Peyo. It’s just as bad as making a hand-drawn version of the characters but drawing them in a completely different style.

    When you have a 2D character, lot of the “detail” about the character is filled in by the imagination of the viewer — which is a lot more powerful than the computer dictating what the details are to us.

    Making photorealistic 3D versions of some hand drawn characters doesn’t make them more believable — it just takes the life out of them.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      If only they knew…

    • Tony McCarson

      I agree!

    • Peter

      At least Tintin was good.

  • Some Mammal

    Well, if nobody else is going to point it out…

    “The main character of this movie is a mammal, therefore Furries will enjoy it.”

    Guys, you’ve said this enough times that I’m starting to think you’ve got issues.

    (Also, the incredibly vast majority of movies’ main characters are mammals, so…?)

    • jerome

      Actually, the Marsupilami isn’t quite a mammal, as it lays eggs.

      • http://owlfeathersinc.com Katie

        Platypus lay eggs and are mammals.

      • jerome

        yeah, maybe the marsupilami would be a monotreme :)

      • http://animationreview.wordpress.com Gijs Grob

        Not necessarily: as both monotremes and all reptiles (in which group mammals have their origin) lay eggs, we can confidently assume that the last common ancestor of monotremes, marsupials and placental mammals laid eggs, too. The marsupilami therefore could be a lineage of its own descendent from this last common ancestor. It would indeed be a mammal, but a totally unique one. Of course, Franquin would like to have it that way.

        (I’m sorry for lecturing, I’ve studied evolutionary biology :-D)

      • Some Mammal

        This thread went into a completely different direction from what I expected…

        (FYI: Tits. That’s the one defining factor of all living mammals; the ability to feed your babies milk produced from glands in your body.)

      • http://animationreview.wordpress.com/ Gijs Grob

        True. In fact we’re not sure if the marsupilami is able to produce milk… :-)

  • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

    AAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!

    That was literally my reaction when seeing the computerized Marsipulami picture. I aaaaaaghed out loud. This needs to be HAND DRAWN, for Franquin’s sake! Stop this premiere!

    • Matthew Koh

      I’m kinda worried thinking that you’re going to start a protest or something.

      • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

        If I do, will you join it?

  • DonaldC

    Those eyes.
    Those cold dead eyes.

  • Anb

    Yes this needs to be hand-drawn, especially because hand drawn+real footage actually works pretty well artistically and financially (We all remember Roger Rabbit). Why cant we go back to something more artistic?
    And as much as it looks dumb, well it’s France… I’m french myself and this thing is definitely going to be a success domestically. The director’s style is generally into the comically absurd humor. But I’m not sure the rest of the world is going to go for that kind of humor…

  • Nicolas Orizaga

    this looks better than the Smurfs movie was…

  • http://www.davidfreedman.co.uk David Freedman

    I’m sorry but I laughed. Looks like fun. Why do so many people feel this is a forum to moan about everything. Lighten up fellas, its a comedy.

  • http://enigmation.de slowtiger

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the Marsupilami of Franquin’s comics. This is just another vehicle for a bunch of well-known french comedians put into just another absurd situation – much like the british “Carry on” series of the 60s and 70s – done in a style which seems fashionable since Claude Zidi’s “Asterix” from 1999.

    Originally the Marsupilami started as a side kick in the well-established “Spirou et Fantasio” series in 1952, featuring a bell-boy and a reporter (like Tintin). The stories are set in a typical 50s-60s world, featuring mad scientists, loveable gentry, childish dictators, and incompetent henchmen. The two main characters are intelligent “everyday heroes”. The comic series established a well-build cosmos with lots of likeable characters, many of them really unique, and the stories matured and included topics like deforestation, pollution, corrupt politicians, and endangered indigenious people.

    Compare this with the film setting: two imbeciles stuttering their way through an equally mindless surrounding, eventually finding a plush toy.

    • jerome

      Yet, after “Spirou & Fantasio”, the Marsupilami got its own series of comic-books… I think the film is more an adpatation of those, where the Marsupilami stays in the jungle and often confronts stupid hunters or journalists or soldiers…

      • Chris Sobieniak

        So much like what they did with him in “Raw Toonage” then!

      • Roberto

        Actually I’m with Jerome. I didn’t read a lot of the Marsupilami comics after Spirou and Fantasio, but I find the first three or four ones were interesting cause they revolve mainly around Marsupilami and his family. I read a couple more and they were actually kind of close to what we see in this movie trailer, there are a lot of silly humans in them. That leads to some decent satire but the human characters are never as charismatic as the Marsupilami (or Spirou and Fantasio, for that matter).

        I would even go as far as saying that the humor is not SO different to what we see in the trailer…

        However, even thoug I admit I don’t like the Marsupilami collection as much as his previous adventures with Spirou and Fantasio, I still think the humor works much better with caricatures. These are things that just shouldn’t be adapted to life action. And of course the marsupilami himself is always a very charismatic character in all the comics. Here he looks too “cute”, but less zany or interesting, he doesn’t even have the same expression in his face.

      • http://ryuuseipro.blogspot.com/ John Paul Cassidy

        They’d have been better off making a SPIROU & FANTASIO CG-animated feature (something that maintains the characters’ iconic cartoony looks, rather than something photorealistic), or maybe even– *snort* –hand-drawn? :)

        Either way, Marsupilami would look much better!

  • http://barbezinc.blogspot.com Valentin Moretto

    The Marsupilami’s eyes are staring at the bottom of your soul…

  • http://www.magnusink.ca Amanda

    I dunno. I’m a furry and the screenshot alone is slightly horrifying. Its blank, black eyes are really eerie.

  • ANA INGA BARABINO TOSCANO

    Why, I say why?????

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Marsupilami isn’t as well known outside Europe as the two most famous Belgian comics creations Tintin & the Smurfs are,I take it. I remember seeing some Marsupilami strips in French a long time ago. I then saw him on Raw Toonage with that big gorilla and the Bluto-like villain. The only episode I really remember was the Wizard of Oz spoof. The trailer looks really amusing.

  • philippe

    I think that the drawings do include more of the readers imagination but so does the comic medium with it’s imaginative key poses and well thought of gaps between panels. The Marsupilami is a comic book character and it’s André Franquin’s. Please stop making degenerative by-products.

  • http://animationreview.wordpress.com Gijs Grob

    The marsupilami in the picture looks more like the comic strip’s female counterpart, don’t you think?

    • Roberto

      I agree, I was about to say the same thing before.

      Contrary to other people’s opinion I don’t think he looks ugly or anything, in fact I think he looks pretty cute as far as CGI characters go, but yeah, it does look more like Marsupilami’s wife.

      And still both of them look funnier in the comics, this looks cute as a Care Bear or something like that, but that doesn’t reflect Marsupilami’s character or personality.

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    Contrary to (a somewhat) popular belief, we of Furry Fandom don’t automatically love anything that has anthropomorphic characters in it. We just NOTICE things with anthro characters in them. For example: I can’t think of a single Furry Fan I know who had good things to say about “Happy Feet 2″.

    • Hernhernhern

      I heard a couple of them say the krill were amusing, but that’s about as far as they were willing to go.

  • FJ

    “and, though furry fans may like it, it looks pretty dumb.”

    Just because someone’s a furry doesn’t mean they don’t have standards like everyone else. ;)

  • Mister Twister

    A minor animal sidekick from a Belgian comic book getting an entire movie?? What DOESN’T get a movie these days???

    On a side note, Jerry is awesome for mentioning furry fans :D

  • http://BuddyBoy600alt.livejournal.com Jonathan Harriman Lhota

    I have a feeling that Roger Ebert is going to give it a thumbs down. He might have seen the Disney series.