This week a movie poster surfaced for an upcoming film based on animal crackers. Yes, animal crackers are receiving an onscreen adaptation that promises to be “a magical adventure in every bite.” Obviously this raises many questions. The first and foremost of which being, why? Who asked for this? How did this movie lock down an all-star cast including Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, John Krasinski, Ian McKellen and Sylvester Stallone? Will rivals Teddy Grahams and Goldfish make appearances?
In all seriousness, “Animal Crackers” represents a growing trend of misguided stupidity at the root of pointless Hollywood adaptations. Although studio executives may not believe it, some things just don’t deserve a theatrical adaptation. It’s time to take a step back and acknowledge some ideas aren’t even good on paper, let alone on the silver screen.
It’s time to take a step back and acknowledge some ideas aren’t even good on paper, let alone on the silver screen.
One such idea is that of the Pez dispenser movie. Another terrible adaptation soon to hit silver screens everywhere is a movie based around the popular marshmallow candy Peeps. And who could forget the ambitious Tetris adaptation, planned to be a riveting sci-fi trilogy because, according to director Larry Kasanoff, “the story [they] conceived is so big.” For some reason there’s a growing pattern of movies adapted off of questionably trivial source material. “The Angry Birds Movie” and “The Emoji Movie” are more recent examples of such a trend. Both movies were panned critically and didn’t meet optimistic box office expectations due to negative word of mouth. So the question becomes why so many studios want to follow in their example.
Every studio seems to be jumping at the opportunity to become the next Paramount Pictures with their Transformers film franchise; they want to be able to constantly produce bad cinema that rakes in millions of dollars in box office at the very least overseas. But past releases have proven that name brands like “G.I. Joe” and “Angry Birds” cannot always salvage a bad film from the repercussions of critical shortcomings on box office in the same way that Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean do.
There’s also the argument to be made that studios are searching desperately to profit from the next “The Lego Movie.” And many make the fair point that these seemingly ridiculous adaptations simply deserve their fair chance – they could indeed wind up being the next “The Lego Movie.” There’s an important distinction to be made between something like “The Lego Movie” and something like “The Emoji Movie.” “The Lego Movie” clearly started with a clever and original take that fit itself into a story about Legos seamlessly, whereas “The Emoji Movie” comes across as a film that started as a marketing ploy and was retrofitted a generic story to satisfy the basic prerequisites of being a movie.
Exceptions don’t make a rule. As a general rule, animal crackers and Pez dispensers don’t make for a compelling movie.
Exceptions don’t make a rule. As a general rule, animal crackers and Pez dispensers don’t make for a compelling movie. Yes, a good director can make a good movie with animal crackers or Pez dispensers, but that same director could have probably made a better movie covering just about anything else and done so in a way that isn’t aggressively tacky or hamfisted.
Studios should take notes on “The Angry Birds Movie” and “The Emoji Movie,” learn from their grave errors and maybe, just maybe, spare critics and audiences from another painful junk food adaptation.
Photo courtesy of Animal Crackers