Live action The Flintstones in the years 2001 Josie and the Pussycats, it is obvious that a transition from an animated series to a live action film can and can be done exceptionally. When a series is done right and has a dedicated fan base, a movie version is virtually guaranteed.
However, for the most part, live-action movie adaptations of animated sources can be just as compelling, if not more so. Whether it’s a simple replication or a campy send off from the animated source, live-action movie versions can be very enjoyable and fun. There are some anime series that more than deserve their own versions of live-action movies that could be as good as the original.
ten Daria (1997 – 2002)
Many fans of this MTV animated series have wished a Daria real action movie. Fans have demanded that the cast of titular Daria be played by Parks and recreation Indie star and darling Aubrey Plaza. It almost seems that Daria’s role was tailor-made for the sarcastic and impassive Plaza.
Additionally, this series would have the easiest transition to live-action, as Daria’s storylines revolve around relatable, down-to-earth storylines. The series simply follows the intelligent protagonist through her life at home and at school, making a live-action movie extremely easy and affordable while staying true to the series.
9 Bob’s Burgers (2011 -)
The Belcher Family would be an easy transition to a live action movie, and it would be interesting to see the Belcher Family dynamic played out by live action actors. The Belchers get involved in much less far-fetched situations than the Simpson family or Family Guy’s the Griffons but are no less interesting thanks to each Bob’s burgers distinct personality of the character.
The lives of struggling moms and pop business owners with wacky kids feels like a very relevant movie premise that would be reinforced by the show’s quirky, clever humor.
8 Futurama (1999 – 2013)
The misadventures of the Planet Express interplanetary delivery service would be an incredible live-action movie. With the kooky crustacean Dr. Zoidberg, the tough cookie Leela, Airhead Fry, the obnoxious robot Bender, the ditzy Amy, the pantyhose Hermes and the former professor, a live-action Futurama the film would not lack intriguing characters. Additionally, the various planets the gang traveled on would create visually dynamic settings.
Showing the world in the 31st century would allow the live-action film to embrace and elaborate on the distant future as presented by the series. Likewise, it would be interesting to see how the different creatures in the series translate into live action by CGI, stop motion, models, puppets or creature effects and makeup.
7 Johnny Bravo (1997 – 2004)
The 50s aesthetic of this series would make it easy to switch from the eyes to the live action. The bright colors and artistic design synonymous with American culture of the 50s could make for an interesting fusion when mixed with the design of the 2020s.
It would look a lot like how the series merged 1950s American iconography à la James Dean with style and pop culture references of the 90s and early 2000s. Plus, emulation of rockabilly style by Johnny is a perfect fit for the nostalgic present where young people look to emulate past fashion trends and cultural references to display their individuality.
6 Ed, Edd and Eddy (1999 – 2009)
The exploits and ploys of the three disturbing Eds would be a fun live-action flick akin to coming-of-age flicks like The sandy ground and The Goonies. Each of the children in the Ed, Edd and Eddy are fully fleshed out individuals. The strong characterization of roles in the series would result in characters that audiences can both sympathize with and laugh at.
Additionally, the show’s distinct artistic design could be incorporated into the production design and look of the live-action film version. It helps that the series’ plots are quite timeless, never dating with current references, which would result in a movie version that could apply to all ages and generations. Don’t all the kids just want a puzzle at the end of the day?
5 Samurai Jack (2001 – 2017)
The strong artistic direction of this show would translate into a high-quality production design if made into a live-action feature film version. With several samurai films to influence, the film version of this series has a profound source of inspiration.
A Jack Samurai the film would be made in the same tradition as the classic Japanese film from 1973 Lady Snowblood. The series’ minimal dialogue and violence are easily recognizable in traditional Japanese samurai classics, which would make this film version a welcome entry into the genre.
4 The Powerpuff Girls (1998 – 2005)
Between three school-aged crime fighting superheroes and a fleet of wacky villains including an evil genius monkey, a live-action cinematic version of this classic Cartoon Network series would be super cool and very unique. Craig McCracken’s strong creative voice and wry humor he instilled Super girls might appeal to those who grew up with the series as well as young families in a live-action version.
All of the characters on the show brought something to the show and it could easily be replicated in the film version. Additionally, the show’s girl-power message is just as timely, if not more, than when the show aired, making a film version relevant to society. As Super girls has been influenced by a number of cinematic references, including the Girl’s House inspired by the House of My uncle, the circle would come full circle for the series to become a film itself.
3 Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends (2004 – 2009)
This Cartoon Network series would be a great movie to use puppets for imaginary friends characters similar to using puppets in Labyrinth or the Muppet movies. As the series is about a foster home for discarded imaginary friends, there would be a plethora of puppets in use. Full use of fantastic creatures would immerse the viewer in this whimsical welcome home for imaginary friends.
For a series that emphasizes imagination and creativity, the film version could follow in the footsteps of films that similarly rely on the imagination as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Also, the show’s sincerity and heartfelt tone are said to be a change of pace adopted from the more sarcastic family films of recent times.
2 Sailor Moon (1992 – 1997)
The aesthetic that a live-action movie from this classic series would involve is reason enough for this show to be turned into a live-action movie. Using the dazzling skylines and landscapes of Tokyo, the setting would be enchanting for fans of the animated series. Likewise, the costumes for the show would be fantastic if they were created for a live-action version.
It would also be interesting to see how the distinct artistic design of the series would be replicated in a live-action version. On top of that, the show’s high-energy action / combat scenes would make it a thrilling feature.
1 The Jetsons (1962 -1963)
The series’ mid-century futuristic look would lend itself to impressive set design and costumes that would embrace the aesthetics of the space age. The future set for the series would make it possible to build a fantastic world to immerse the public in the future of the chewing gum presented in The Jetsons.
The characterization of the Jetson family could be updated to be more modern while retaining the kitsch and carefree tone of the series. To take it a step further, a live-action movie version of this classic Hanna-Barbera show could be like the 1995 Brady Bunch Movie and poke fun at its source material.
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