pes-garbagepail pes-garbagepail
Feature Film

PES Teams Up With Michael Eisner for “Garbage Pail Kids” Pic

PES and Garbage Pail Kids

Indie animator PES (pictured above) moved from New York to Los Angeles a couple years back to fulfill his ambition to become a feature film director. It didn’t take long. Deadline Hollywood broke the story this afternoon that PES has been tapped to direct a feature film based on the Eighties fad Garbage Pail Kids.

The news is significant, representing not only a career shift for PES–best known for animated shorts like Roof Sex and Western Spaghetti as well as a slew of award-winning TV commercials–but also because it heralds the return of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner to feature filmmaking (at least on the financing side). Deadline reported that “Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Company will finance and produce the development of a feature film. . .Eisner bought the card company in 2007 and this is his first feature spinoff project.” Michael Vukadinovich will write the script and Toby Ascher will produce.

While neither the name Eisner nor “Garbage Pail Kids” instill much confidence, the real story here is PES’s involvement. He has proven himself time and time again as a force for innovative graphic ideas. A quick browse of Cartoon Brew’s archives will reveal some of his creative storytelling abilities (as well as some of his contributions as a guest blogger). I’ll certainly be looking forward to see what PES does with his first feature film.

PES’s latest short Fresh Guacamole debuted on YouTube last week:

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Hmmmm,does anybody else remember the 1987 live-action Garbage Pail Kids movie besides me? I’m tempted to say ‘Don’t do it,Eisner and PES! Don’t remake that crapfest!’.

    • tim

      why not? If studios are so persistant at remaking good movies, than surely someone can remake a bad film and, hopefully, make it better.

  • SKent.

    I remember Garbage Pail Kids from my childhood. I don’t remember liking or having any particular interest in it, it was just one of those things that was around and somehow ending up with some of the sticker cards. I think it was either a spinoff or a spoof of Cabbage Patch Kids. Looking back on it, it’s hard to understand the appeal. A google search reveals that there actually already was a Garbage Pail Kids movie. Looks kinda weak, but probably as good as you’d expect.

    I predict a trainwreck of a movie. It’ll take vast amounts of creativity to turn this into anything relevant, let alone fashion a storyline around what was basically a series of one-joke characters. Don’t get me wrong, Pes is amazing, but I anticipate a real struggle to adapt his approach to feature length.

    • Sarah J

      Garbage Pail Kids was, in fact, a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids. There was actually a lawsuit from the makers of Cabbage Patch Kids, I think in the end the makers of the GP Kids altered the appearance of the characters and changed the logo so it wouldn’t be so similar.

      I also want to point out, the live-action film you mentioned isn’t just “weak”, it’s considered one of the worst movies around.

      • SKent.

        All I know about it is the trailer I watched on youtube. Looked like a pretty dodgy movie, but at the same time, it looked a lot like how I remember the characters looking on the sticker cards.

        I didn’t see much hope for it being a worthwhile movie. Unlike previous card series like Mars Attacks, imperfect as the movie was, that actually had potential. It was a whole series of amusing scenarios just waiting to be strung into a storyline. Similarly Dinosaurs Attack! could probably be packaged into an entertaining movie if Eisner wants to capitalize his stake in Topps.

        Garbage Pail Kids is nothing but a lineup of ugly unappealing characters parodying a forgotten fad that has largely slipped from public consciousness. If Pes can make anything of this, it will prove his genius.

  • Richard

    “Heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! This movie’s gonna blow!”

  • Sarah J

    Ugh… Why? Just, why? The first Garbage Pail Kids film is one of the worst movies in existence. GPK wasn’t a good concept for a film to begin with. Who actually thought it was a good idea to start working on another one?

  • Maybe this one will actually see the light of the day, unlike the ill-fated cartoon series that never aired (they eventually came out on DVD years later).

  • Wasn’t one of Eisner’s first announcements after leaving Disney that he was going to make a film based on the Bazooka Joe character from the comics/gum? ( )

    On a semi-related note, I recently read in The Tipping Point that the best time to have a judge look at your case is after lunch. Is the best time to pitch a movie to Eisner also after lunch…when he’s reaching for a stick of gum? (And should my pitch be delivered in the form of a one-punchline cartoon wrapped around the aforementioned piece of gum?)

  • Mike

    This sounds like the worst idea since…well, ever.

  • I prefer to see them as animated GIFs, perhaps with some sound effects those would be hilarious.

  • Wait…so let me get this straight…Hollywood remakes a ton of movies each year from source material that never needed a remake because they were already good movies…but a crappy movie is getting a remade and everyone automatically assumes its going to be a disaster?

    Don’t get me wrong- while I think Garbage Pail Kids isn’t what I’d hoped PES’s first feature would be, he’s an amazing filmmaker and I rather support him than automatically call it a bomb from the outset.

    If anything I feel like this idea could go anyway considering they’re just trading card with some silly puns and fun illustrations. With a creative force like PES behind the wheel there’s no telling where this could go!

    Interestingly enough I had no idea Art Spiegelman had anything to do with their creation.

    • Sarah J

      It’s not just that it’s remaking a god-awful movie, though. It’s what the movie is going to be based off of: trading cards doing gross parodies of the Cabbage Patch Kids, where the main selling point is the shock value.

  • The only thing I remember liking about the Garbage Pail Kids was the shock value. It was fun to gross out girls and parents as a boy.

    It’s not so easy to do these days. We are desensitized to gross things. We’ve grown up with this stuff and it’s reflected in most media, from cartoons to reality TV.

    That said, maybe they can take a super hero approach with this. Instead of just being gross children, they are a special generation of children with super powers. The super powers just happens to be a bit on the gross side.

    Just an idea. I wish PES good luck with it.

    • Funkybat

      I loved the Garbage Pail Kids and even collected the cards in vinyl trading card pages to keep them in good shape. (Most kids just stuck them into bike spokes, on their notebooks, etc.) I was a huge Wacky Packages fan and enjoyed the similar parody and sophomoric sensibility applied to even grosser cartoon renderings.

      That said, I had no desire to see the live-action movie, and honestly can’t imagine any kind of film or TV series based on this franchise that would be worth watching. The card illustrations *are* the concept, the punny names, the cute-gross illustrations, that’s pretty much it. Any attempt to develop backstories, continuity, or individual personalities with any depth flushes with champagne instead of water.

      I like PES’s work, and would be intrigued to see what he comes up with in relation to Garbage Pail Kids, but if we nostalgic 80s-era kids are collectively shrugging our shoulders at the prospect, what are the odds most kids in 2013 will give a whit about a Garbage Pail Kids film?

      (The two traditional 2D animators I could imagine doing something decent with this franchise would be John K. and Lauren Faust, though they both would probably rightly reject having anything to do with GPK.)

  • Rupe Collins

    I for one found GPKthe movie to be incredibly entertaining and can’t wait to see this. I hope he plays up the original film’s assumption that all of the adult characters treat the main character, who is a kid, like an adult. Like when a group of grown men bring this cute ten year old (or however old) kid down into a sewer, beat him up, and hold his face under raw sewage – and then he steals one of their girl friends (at a nightclub?) – not to mention the jail. that flick would be a goldmine for someone as creative as pes. probably not for the wholesome pixar crowd

  • I have barely any idea what are the Garbage Pail Kids, but I’m sure PES can do something with it. Something completely different than whatever it was.

  • paolo

    I love PES’ films, however, I am wondering: will he succeed in making a feature? His ideas are wonderful for 1-3 minutes segments, what about a 70-80 minutes long one? If he succeeds, chapeau, and I will be very glad about that, but I am still afraid…

  • How the mighty have fallen…

  • What ever happened to Eisner’s plans for making Bazooka Joe the next Mickey Mouse?

  • Gobo

    Are you that desperate, PES?

  • I absolutely LOVE Garbage Pail Kids, I collected many of the different series while growing up and even I don’t wanna see this movie.

    BTW, I don’t care how great a film maker PES is, if executives like Eisner stick their noses into the creative end and demand their way with story or concepts, it’s gonna suck.

  • Mark McD

    Just to clarify, GPKs were actually a spinoff of the long-running Wacky Packages card set, for which Art speigelman art-directed and which more work from classic comic artists that you remember. Apparently one of the card in an 80’s series was a generic “Garbage Pail Kids” doll, and the whole thing took off from there. In the 90s or early 2000’s Topps attempted a similar series of “Meanie Babies.”

  • Blast from the Past! I remember how the GPK fad arrived to Mexico and it was seen by concerned parents and the Church as Satanic influence. Channel 2 even shot a news story about it on my own school ;)

    • Funkybat

      My centegenerian great-aunt, who has lost/scrambled many of her memories, still gives me grief now and then about the time I showed her my “ugly cards.” This must have been 1986 or so. Apparently they were so unpleasant to her that the memory is resistant to age-related dementia!

  • Marc Baker

    Wow, Eisner’s been doing some unusual things since he left Disney. Though I’m not so sure we need another ‘Garbage Pail Kids’ movie.

  • If they stick closely to the original GPK idea, it’s likely to be terrible. But if they let PES do his thing, it’s likely to rock.