It’s quite likely that 99.9% of you have already decided that you will not be seeing either of the movies discussed here based solely on the title of this post. Sadly, you are perfectly fair to judge so quickly, and you are not alone in your disdain for these and other childhood characters (liked or not) being made into feature films.
First up, it’s being reported that Owen Wilson has signed on the dotted line to voice the role of Marmaduke, a giant clumsy CGI dog based on the 1954 comic strip of the same name. The movie will do the same as all of these movies do in mixing CG and live-action. The plans for a Marmaduke movie have apparently been around for a while now as it has a cast of known names that will surely regret ever agreeing to appear in it down the road. The names include William H. Macy, Judy Greer, and Lee Pace as live-action characters, while Steve Coogan, Emma Stone, Damon Wayans, George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Marlon Wayans, and Fergie will all voice CG characters. You might as well call it Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2: Honey, I Blew Up the Chihuahua. Marmaduke is set for release in June of 2010 — get excited.
Next up is something that some of us, including myself, may hold dearer to our hearts. The Berenstein Bears were always a childhood favorite to read, and now they too will be getting this live-action/CGI hybrid treatment. USA Today reports that Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy is producing the project in which he compares to Jon Favreau’s Elf in which these out of place bears who dress and live like humans are thrown into our own reality where we’ll surely see them deal with all of the problems that come with being different. No details on writers or casting here, but Levy wants an original story to be crafted using key details from the more popular books in the series which began in 1962.
You might think that by now it would be realized that these old school titles just don’t seem to work with a CGI makeover, but even so, they consistently continue to come and go. Thankfully, none stay in memory long and we can just about pretending that they never ever…never happened.