Last weekend, the long-anticipated live action Dora the Explorer movie made its debut in theaters worldwide. I say long-anticipated because every day we get between five and 20 emails from listeners DEMANDING this movie. Just kidding, literally no one in the world who is not a creeper has been demanding this movie. Even so, this movie exists and hey, it did well with critics, its representation matters, and it’s genuinely very funny! I didn’t see that coming so kudos to everyone involved. Dora did, however, make me consider what other Nickelodeon cartoons could receive the live-action treatment. Here are my ideas, free of charge for the good people at Nickelodeon.
This movie is a sequel to the original series and finds the Rugrats crew in their early-to-mid thirties. They’re all just living life with their own set of kids who get into their own brand of shenanigans. We could go the Look Who’s Talking route and have established actors do voices for the babies, but I think instead we just drop in on the old gang and see where life has taken them. One of them is very successful, one of them (probably Chuckie, let’s be honest) lives in another Rugrats’ basement, one of them hasn’t kept up with the times and says a lot of wacky stuff that’s borderline offensive in 2019, etc.
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
This one is a trick to get kids to watch nature stuff. We just take footage from Planet Earth, its spinoffs and contemporaries, anything featuring a panda bear, and slap Adam West-era Batman logos and effects all over the place literally anytime the panda moves. Even the title card explodes onto the screen with a Jack Black sound-alike yelling, “KUNG FU PANDA!!! LEGENDS OF AWESOMENESS!!!” The movie is 65 minutes long, tops, and at the end, we show a trailer for Planet Earth (“now available on Netflix”) and hope all the kids fall for our scam.
My interpretation of Paw Patrol is EXTREMELY dark. Like, imagine Zack Snyder reading the script and squirming a little. The Paw Patrol pups have divided themselves into warring clans and the action makes Game of Thrones feel timid. (I admit all of this is just a ploy to scar my own child into not watching Paw Patrol anymore.)
This pitch is for a TV series rather than a movie. Rusty Rivets is a relatively new show you may not know about if you don’t have young kids in the target demo. It features a pair of best friends who use their imagination and a DIY attitude to create robots, creatures, etc. My show crosses the Rivets gang over with the Scott Brothers from HGTV’s Property Brothers (and 500 other properties these guys are involved in) and finds the four of them building elaborate treehouses and the like with the help of some of Rusty’s mechanical creations. Also, Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition shows up from time to time and his wacky ideas really throw a monkey wrench in the planning.
I am convinced that 90 percent of Spongebob’s audience is not comprised of children at all but of stoners instead. This movie leans into that hunch with a completely bonkers set and costume design that feels like a bad acid trip playing out on the BBC in 1976. It’s kitschy, campy, and probably horrifying but a certain crowd LOVES it and it becomes a massive cult hit, guaranteed.