Best Movies Adapted from Cartoons
Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm
Caleb Masters: With the possible exception of “South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut”, there is no animated movie that captures the spirit and resonates with the source material more powerfully than Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm.
Batman Begins gets all the credit for reinventing the Bruce Wayne/Batman origin story, but Phantasm actually tells the tale first in a manner that even more powerfully showcases Bruce’s aspirations and most tragically reveals his lost hope to drop the life of crime fighting and obsession for one of love.
The Mask of the Phantasm brings the cinematic scope of the show to a full blown hour and a half long film and does everything the iconic cartoon did even better. The art direction was as jaw dropping as ever, Paul Dini’s screenplay more vulnerable than even the best episodes, and voice acting so exceptional that it would only cement Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill into the roles that would make them legend. It’s not just a good animated movie or Batman flick; it’s an excellent film that happens to use animation as its primary vehicle for its very complex and adult material.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Calibertholomew Winfield: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – As a kid, the turtles were as cool as it got. I had all the figures, and in fact, one of my favorite moments as a child was when my mom asked me to get the vacuum for her, and I was a bit of a brat and didn’t want to get up off the sofa. Eventually I did, and sitting there on the vacuum was the Casey Jones figure I wanted oh so badly. Man, that was awesome.
Anyway, we went to the first showing of the movie, and that sucker was sold out like crazy. It was a week before I saw it, and it blew me away. The turtles swore, acted like jerks at times, and kicked major ass. I loved it. I still love it, as the film holds up. Sure, the second one holds up as well, but for completely different reasons. Although I will say Keno is awesome, and Ernie Reyes JR deserved a film career. GUYS! GUYS! It’s me, KENO! THEY GOT RAPH!
The Simpsons Movie
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
Mike Luxemburg: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, please! Sign me up! I’m a little biased about this one. I convinced my father to see it with me, and it was his first exposure to ATHF and it was hilarious. Watching him try to keep up with the rapid fire jokes, both auditory and visual, while adapting to a new language of comedy was funny as hell. More important for our purposes however, few movies have ever taken their premise for a ride quite like this one. ATHFCMFFT (lol) squeezes everything out of its characters, and despite its lack of a real plot the random assortment of events holds together well enough that you’ll never notice. The performances are surprisingly solid up and down the credits, and the increased budget that came with the film allowed a much wider range of visual flourishes. This is a movie that knows who its talking to and how to do it. If you’re part of the tribe, you’ll immediately be taken with it (seriously the end of the theme song will leave you in stitches), if ATHF isn’t your thing, then stay away. This is the Adult Swim program supersized.
South Park: Bigger Longer Uncut
Shawn S. Lealos: I have been watching South Park since Season 1 and it continues to amaze me. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are just comic geniuses and the fact that they create the idea for the show, write it and animate it the week before it is set to go live is awe inspiring. With that said, the movie based on the show took a lot longer but was still amazing. The movie is about a war between Canada and the United States and everyone takes a side. If you had told me when I started watching South Park so many years ago that it would pick up an Oscar nomination I would have laughed at you. If you told me the movie would be a musical and pick up an Oscar nomination for a song called “Blame Canada” – well, that is where Matt and Trey’s genius is proven.