What is old is new again. Nickelodeon has announced that it will be bringing back Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold!, and Invader Zim as original TV movies. These cartoons and the announcement of the Batman and Harley Quinn movie got me thinking about what other cartoons should be revisited as made-for-TV films.
5) Danny Phantom: Ten Years Later:
If you follow Butch Hartman’s YouTube channel you can see that he’s done renditions of the character’s from Danny Phantom ten years after the show. Butch has put a lot of thought into these character designs and there’s tons of storytelling potential. Butch has already done a solid TV special with Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy, so Ten Years Later could be a blast.
4) The Spectacular Spider-Man:
The spectacular Spider-man was by far the smartest and most serious animated Spider-Man series to date. Peter Parker was a brainy kid, but not a loser or a brat. All of the side characters were important even the non-powered ones. Each episode pushed the characters towards their comic book destiny, be their path heroic or villainous.
The series was unfortunately cancelled after a big cliffhanger. Had the series continued, the creators planned on releasing animated films that were more adult in tone. I would love to see their take on the Superior Spider-Man story where Spidey swaps brains with Doc Oc. This could be a great way to do a solid stand-alone piece and animate one of the darkest Spider-Man stories in recent memory.
3) The Batman Hush:
Batman: Hush is one of my favorite Batman stories and using the team from The Batman to bring it to life would be a great match. Hush was a cool story because it incorporated all of Batman’s classic villains into one mystery, and the best part about The Batman was their radical villain designs and performances.
In terms of story I’d avoid the whole “Jason Todd is Hush” route. While that was the best reveal in the Hush comic, Jason’s story was told beautifully in Batman: Under the Red Hood. The Batman team did a fantastic stand-alone movie with Batman vs. Dracula and they could do Hush justice.
2) Teen Titans:
I don’t think I need to say much to get people on board with this one. This particular iteration of Teen Titans struck a cord with audiences in a way that no other version has. There have been comics and other shows, but for many when they think of Teen Titans, they think about this show. Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo got me into watching the series and I like to see another stand-alone film with Slade and Red X. Maybe they could add some new characters. What would Professor Pyg or Supergirl look like in this animation style? If DC is still catering to fans of Batman: The Animated Series then there’s no reason we can’t get a new Teen Titans movie.
1) Superman: Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow?
Batman: The Brave and the Bold can be best described as a love letter to the Silver Age of comics. My favorite episode of that series was “Battle of The Superheroes” where Superman first appeared on the show. The humor came from playing all of Superman’s Silver Age shenanigans with a straight face. Lois was coming up with cunning schemes to lure Superman into marriage, Jimmy Olsen was turned into a giant turtle, and Superman used his abilities to pull off super-pranks.
The team behind Batman the Brave and the Bold would make a hilarious and heartfelt adaption of Whatever Happened To the Man of Tomorrow? The story takes place ten years after Superman died and is narrated by Lois as she reflects on Superman’s last stand against a gauntlet of his worst enemies. This comic has the perfect blend of retro-pulpy fun, genuine emotion, and fatal consequences. Hopefully we’ll see it adapted one day.