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How Hollywood is Destroying My Childhood One Film at a Time

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How Hollywood is Destroying My Childhood One Film at a Time

Boy Cry at Desk I grew up in the 80s-90s. Memories of my childhood include watching Saturday morning cartoons, being amazed and frustrated by my NES and reruns of classic sitcoms and TGIF. I was (and still am) and avid reader, and devoured just about anything I could get my hands on. I was a bit too young for Generation X and bit too old for Generation Y – I’m not really sure what that makes me, but here I stand another cog in the corporate machine. Things started off so slowly I chose to write it off at first. Hollywood was rewriting my childhood. Yet what started off as a trickle has turned into a veritable avalanche and it seems no cherished memory is safe. The Smurfs-movie When I heard they were going to do a live-action Smurfs, I thought surely it was a rumor. Had to be a joke – who would mess with a bunch of little blue people whose sole purpose in life was to, well, be Smurfing happy all the time? Yet it was shortly after Alvin and Chipmunks had opened and actually done well enough to warrant a sequel. My surprise turned to abject horror when I realized this was no rumor – it was actually happening. To date, The Smurfs has grossed nearly $118 million – enough for it to crack the top 20 films in 2011 (so far anyway). My only question is – who in their right mind supports this abomination?

The Smurfs-cartoon The Smurfs

Perhaps it’s the same group of people who helped Jim Carrey’s hairy, green nightmare that was How the Grinch Stole Christmas to a nearly $260 million gross back in 2000-01. Or maybe it could be the same people who helped the live-action/CGI mix Scooby-Doo to $153 million in ’02. Whoever you people are – you’ve obviously suffered some sort of temporary insanity because no matter how desperate you are, under no circumstances should you support these films and, even worse, introduce your children to the characters this way. Dr. Seuss should be enjoyed only in book form – while the Grinch was bad enough, The Cat in the Hat was much worse and Horton Hears a Who, while the best of the bunch, was still a far cry from the rhyming storybook. And leave my beloved cartoons alone! You already bungled The Flintstones, Rocky and Bullwinkle and Mr. Magoo – now you’re creeping ever closer to my all-time favorites. If you mess with the Thundercats, He-Man or Animaniacs, we’re going to have a major problem. Yet, the bad thing is, Hollywood is not content with corrupting youth, they also have to remake every television show that meant something. I remember the A-Team as a full of action where lots of things were shot and blown up, but no one ever seemed to get hurt. Not so much the movie in which a lot of people are shot and blown up and it’s quite apparent they’re totally dead. Remember the Brady Bunch Movie in which the groovy 70’s family was moved into the grungy 90s? Even that somehow spawned a sequel. It was tongue-in-cheek, but it didn’t need to be made. Call me cynical, but I love it when movies based on classic television shows fail: Bewiched, Beverly Hillbillies, Miami Vice, The Dukes of Hazzard). There are exceptions – I found The Fugitive and Mission: Impossible films were good and I also really liked The Addams Family (the sequel not so much). I’m not completely against remakes but when a freakin’ board game – like the upcoming Battleship – makes it to the big screen, maybe it’s time to thrown in the towel. I may not give up the fight, but every time I see something familiar on the big screen, it breaks my heart just a little. I have a feeling with The Smurfs doing so well and Transformers and G.I. Joe also having found success that Hollywood is going to continue to mine that late 70s-early 90s era for anything even remotely popular. If a movie based on a theme-park attraction can turn into a multi-billion dollar franchise, nothing is safe from Hollywood.
Chris Kavan is currently watching reruns of Huckleberry Hound and The Jetsons, wondering when Hollywood is going to bastardize them as well, and is also the Community Manager for FilmCrave.com, the leader in New DVD Releases
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