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As Trolls hits the big screen, Empire Cinemas looks back at which classic kid’s characters have been refreshed for film.
What was once the must have toy for every 90’s kid, has now made the transition to the big screen; and it’s bringing a little nostalgia out in all of us. Trolls, the small plastic dolls best known for their colourful and magical hair, were originally created in 1960 and became hugely popular again in the 1990s.
The new film adaptation begins with the Trolls living in a land full of rainbows and cupcakes where they are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. Their world is soon turned upside down and Poppy (Anna Kendrick) has to embark on a rescue mission. The film stars the voice talents of Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more. Inspired by Trolls’ fantastic comeback, Empire Cinemas has put together a list of the top 10 kid’s characters that have been recently revitalised in film.
1. Smurfs – Smurfs (2011)
The Smurfs was first introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian artist Peyo in 1958, where they were originally known as Les Schtroumpfs. Most memorably in 1981 they featured in the fantasy-comedy television series ‘The Smurfs’, where everyone grew to love Papa Smurf, Smurfette and the gang in their mushroom kingdom. In 2011 The Smurfs’ famous shade of blue was taken to a whole new level when they were given a CGI makeover. The film adaptation saw the Smurfs get lost in New York, whilst trying to escape from Gargamel, their arch nemesis throughout the years.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
The pizza loving turtles and their rat ninja sensei, first made an appearance in comic form before expanding into cartoon series, films, video games and toys. During the early 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit peak popularity and could be seen on kids lunchboxes to backpacks around the world. Teenage Mutant Turtles were brought to the big screen in 2014 where they saved New York against the evil Shredder and his minions.
3. Transformers – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Transformers began as toys created by Japanese companies, which became incredibly popular worldwide and ended up as the must have item on every child’s Christmas list in 1985. The Transformer franchise grew quickly and resulted in a cartoon series. In 2007 Michael Bay directed the first live-action film based on Transformers, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. The film stared Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox and was so popular it led to another two films, grossing $1billion in total.
4. Scooby-Doo – Scooby-Doo (2002)
If you’re asking Scooby dooby doo, where are you? Or more importantly, where did he come from? The answer is that it began as an animated American cartoon series in 1969, which is still watched today. In 2002 Scooby Doo and the gang jumped back into the Mystery machine for a live action comedy where they were all summoned to spooky island to fight the evil Scrappy – and yes, he would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids.
5. Lego – The Lego Movie (2014)
Lego, taken from the Danish phrase means ‘play well’ was first created in 1934 and has been a bestselling children’s toy ever since. Various versions of the toys have been created such as Star Wars Lego, Batman Lego and Barbie Lego. In 2014, Lego made the transition from being the world’s most painful children’s toy to ever step on to a CGI film. The Lego Movie hit cinemas featuring Hollywood superstars Will Ferrell and Chris Pratt and received rave reviews.
6. Postman Pat – Postman Pat: the Movie (2014)
Postman Pat and his black and white cat began as a British stop motion children’s television show set in the fictional town of Greendale in 1981. Postman pat rode his post van all the way to the big screen, where the film saw Postman Pat torn away from his beloved Greendale, to protect his town from a legions of robots.
7. The Magic Roundabout – The Magic Roundabout Movie (2005)
The Magic Roundabout, originated in France where it was known as Le Manège enchanté and eventually became a French-British children’s television programme in 1963 by Serge Danot. In 2005, Florence and her friends from the Enchanted Village were revitalised into CGI versions of themselves with an all star cast of Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Ian Mcellen.
8. Snoopy – The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s pet dog, is the iconic character from the Peanuts comic strip which started in 1950. In the very early years, Snoopy was characterised as a normal dog but by the end Snoopy was very much portrayed more human than dog with an identifiable personality. This personality transitioned on to the big screen in 2015 where Snoopy embarked on an epic adventure in a fantasy world.
9. Dr Suess’ Cat in the Hat – The Cat in the Hat (2003)
The cat in the hat is a Children’s book written by Dr Seuss which centres around the cat who shows up at the house of Sally and her brother and wreaks havoc on the house. The children’s story remains a classic to this day with many memorable quotes that continue to inspire children. The famous story saw Thing 1 and Thing 2 with the rest of the characters adapted in film in 2003, starring Mike Myres and Dakota Fanning.
10. My Little Pony – My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)
The first My Little Pony toys hit stores in 1981 and were quickly in the hands of children all around the world. Created in a variety of colours and designs the My Little Pony franchise continued to expand and eventually became a very popular children’s television show. In 2016, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls was released, telling the story of the students of Canterlot High and their time at a summer camp.
For ticketing information visit www.EmpireCinemas.co.uk or call 08714 714 714