Earlier this week I was talking to a coworker about The Dark Tower. I admitted that I had not read the series, but thought that the movie was alright, but I had the feeling that fans of the novels would not be happy. This led to a discussion about movie adaptations as a whole and then segued into movie adaptations of animated properties. The person that I was talking to had managed to see the recent live action movie Space Battleship Yamato (2010), which is better known in the US as Starblazers. He felt that the movie was poorly made and that the animated series that had come before was much better. This progressed to talking about the Transformers series and how it appears that there’s something in geeks that feels that unless a property can stand as a live action iteration, it is not somehow completely legitimate.
Let’s look at Transformers, for instance. We are all aware of the epic animated movie that was produced back in 1986. It had action, adventure, drama, a kickass soundtrack and a plot twist that still hits you in the gut today. NONE of the live action movies come near to getting that kind of response from us. Ok, how about the G.I Joe movies. Don’t get me started on the first one. Now the second one was ok… it definitely came closer to the comic version of the property. But if you want a legit, true to form, G.I. Joe movie, look to Warren Ellis’ G.I. Joe: Resolute. It was released not long after the first movie and I don’t think that it got much notice, although Cartoon Network played it as a miniseries. At any rate, do yourself a favor and check this movie out.
Ultimately, the discussion came around to this: not everything needs to be live action. Not every property needs to be “for the masses” to be a success. Whether it is comics, video games, animated series or what have you, there are properties that are too awesome for technology to duplicate. Much like my name is too awesome for Coke to bother putting on the back of a bottle, some things should maintain their legitimacy and not sacrifice their quality to make the jump to live action. I would take three awesome Warren Ellis animated G.I. Joe stories over a 10 movie franchise that just craps over my fandom… just saying.