Greetings my Movie Geeks!
One of, if not my first article for World Geekly News was, I thought, a one-off article about TV shows for kids that were based on movies for adults. But then I discovered more shows so I had to write a second one. When writing I also discovered that a larger website (We’ll call it Lair of Nerds) released a similar article and thus, here is a third. But this time, it will focus on TV shows for kids that are based on movies for everyone. Welcome to “Movies to TV Shows 3: We’re Pushing it Now!”
The first two articles talked about Conan the Adventurer, The Toxic Avenger, Rambo: The Forces for Freedom , Highlander: The Animated Series, Robocop, Operation: Aliens, Tales from the Crypt Keeper, Beetlejuice, Little Shop, Teen Wolf, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and The Mummy. If you want to go back and read them, here are the links! Article 1 and article 2.
1. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures
“…Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent adventures…”
If you don’t know about Bill & Ted, then where’ve you been? If you don’t know about Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures then you haven’t lived. I remember the summer holidays of the early 90’s when I would get up on a Saturday and Sunday take my covers downstairs and make a den on the chair nearest the telly. I’d watch ITV (Live & Kicking) or Channel 4; it was the latter that played Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures.
This was a direct spin-off from the film. The voice talents included Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin and Bernie Casey reprising their roles from the film. There was a second series which went from Hanna Barbera to DiC Animation city. Unfortunately, once the production changed the voice actors changed and the quality went downhill.
But, it was an entertaining series and followed the premise of the movie where Bill & Ted travel through time meeting historical figures. The second series added new ‘Squint’ telephone box that could take them into Literature, movies, TV shows and shrink them down so they could explore the human body!
Hopefully, we’ll be getting Bill & Ted 3 one day!
2. Back to the Future
A similar idea to the Bill & Ted series, Back to the Future was a full sequel to the films. It brought all the characters back including the creepy kids Jules and Verne. Apart from Michael J Fox, the main cast included Mary Steenbergen, Thomas F Wilson, James Tolkan and Christopher Lloyd in live action segments. It was an amazing series that was even directed by both Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, the movies’ creators.
The episodes, like Bill & Ted, focussed on historical figures and the majority of the episodes focussed on Doc’s kids. It was nice to see that the DeLorean was rebuilt after BTTF Part 3 and that they kept the Time Train.
A total of 26 episodes, it had an opening performed by Christopher Lloyd reprising his role often in front of the DeLorean. The end also had a live-action segment with the now famous Bill Nye The Science Guy. This segment saw Bill Nye conducting a science experiment that often linked to the episode. An example of this was him creating a hot air balloon as that’s what happened in the episode.
Back to the Future TV Series was an entertaining continuation of the film series. It’s no wonder Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis don’t want any sequels made as they are the right people to do it justice.
3. Dumb and Dumber
Dumb and Dumber was a comedy film starring Jim Carry and Jeff Daniels from 1994 by the Farrelly brothers. It was a comedy and I remember it well. Released by Hanna Barbera in association with New Line Cinema the original distributors of the film, it followed Lloyd and Harry. They are now voiced by Matt Frewer and Bill Fagerbakke as they embarked on whacky stories.
It only lasted 13 episodes and unfortunately, I only remember seeing this in passing. They had required ‘Otto’ the dog shaped van from the film. Their adventures consisted of travelling the country. There was a beaver called Kitty who appeared in the episodes and had higher intelligence than both the human characters. Wait, Kitty… Beaver!!! Did they Just…?
As said I remember this show being on, but I wasn’t a watcher. Although the same year saw the release of two other Jim Carrey movie based TV shows!
4. The Spooktacular Adventures of Casper
Casper was a movie from the summer of 1995 and incorporated a lot of CGI to bring the ghosts to life… so to speak. Starring Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci and Eric Idle it followed the story of the Lonely, friendly ghost as he tries to make friends with a parapsychologist’s daughter.
The Spooktacular adventures of Casper is a direct continuation of the film, following on from the happy ending where Dr Harvey and his daughter Kat live in a mansion haunted by Casper and his three uncles Stretch, Stinky and Fatso.
This series lasted for a whopping four seasons and had 52 episodes. For a TV show based on a film, they got a lot of life out of it! Pun-tastic.
Again it was one that passed me by. I didn’t even know there was a tv show based on the film until I started researching for this article.
5. Free Willy
A spin-off of the movie from 1993, it had a strong environmental message. Willy, the Orca whale from the movie was free and had angered the series’ antagonist ‘The Machine’. He was a powerful Oil baron who had had a run in with Willy and had lost his arm and part of his face. He encompasses the same character traits as Captain Ahab and goes out of his way to get the Whale.
Jesse is a 14-year-old Foster child. He works at Misty Island Oceanic Reserve and discovers he can talk to and understand the animals. Again I had not seen this series and didn’t even know it existed. I never liked the movie and this series seems like more of the same, but with talking animals.
It lasted for 21 episodes and had a full story arc consisting of ‘The Machine’ getting his comeuppance.
6. Godzilla the Series
Godzilla, remember the movie that starred the plank of wood Matthew Broderick. Eurgh that movie. To be fair it wasn’t that b… b… b… Blimey, look at the time. The TV series was a direct continuation of the movie. Godzilla had died at the end of the movie, but it turned out there were eggs laid and the final shot of the film saw one of the eggs hatching. This is the Godzilla that we follow in the TV show.
Broderick’s character Nick Tatopoulos returns and is present at the hatching of the second Godzilla. Godzilla imprints on Nick and as such now takes orders from him. It’s one way of cashing in on the film but bringing a new story to it. They were also able to incorporate the atomic breath into the series, which they didn’t do in the movie.
The series was quite popular and lasted 2 seasons and 40 episodes. It also had the voice talents of Ron Perlman, Roddy McDowell, Linda Blair, Kevin Dunn, Joe Pantoliano, Ian Ziering and Frank Welker. It’s quite a feat for a television cartoon series to be better than the film it’s based on. But Godzilla: The Series did it!
7. James Bond Jr
Listeners of the MAaD Movie Podcast will know that occasionally we review movies and we rate them by comparing them to James Bond films. As you all know there are so many James Bond films that they all vary between Good and Bad. Any film we review is either A Good James Bond Film or a Bad James Bond Film! You can listen here!
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about James Bond…… Jr!
Yes, that was the animated children’s show that I watched and had the action figures of. It is set in the same James Bond Universe (pretty much) but follows James Bond Jr, the nephew of James Bond. He attends Warfield Academy where he learns how to be a spy. He fights against the SPECTRE-like evil organisation SCUM (Saboteurs and Criminals United in Mayhem).
The show also had recurring villains that included Nick-Nack, Odd Job, Jaws and Goldfinger. James Boind Jr also had a number of allies who were related to characters from the main James Bond series. Horace ‘I.Q.’ Boothroyd III, Q’s grandson, Gordo Leiter, Felix Leiter’s son, there was also Miss Moneypenny stand-in called Phoebe Farragut and a love interest in the headmaster’s daughter Tracey Milbanks.
We get everything from the main series but made family-friendly, even the main love interest is named Tracey after Tracey Draco from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The Guest Bond Girls have names that are double entendres or puns. They include Terri Firma, the daughter of a leading seismologist, Wendy Day, a weather forecaster, and Sgt Victoria Province, a Mountie from Toronto. I feel a Beaver called Kitty should feature here too!
Jumanji began life as a picture book series. It was written by Chris Van Allsberg. It was made into the 1995 Robin Williams led movie of the same name and had a direct sequel in the book Zathura. Although Zathura was made into a movie, it was not a sequel to Jumanji.
The movie Jumanji was made in the wake of Jurassic Park. As such it utilised early CGI to bring the animals and effects of the board game to life. Looking back it doesn’t hold up, although the story is still entertaining and has been adequately continued with 2017’s Jumanji 2 Welcome to the Jungle!
But before The Rock took over as Jumanji’s lead, there was a Jumanji the animated tv show that ran from 1996 to 1999. It followed the same story of the film but made changes. It copied Alan’s story of becoming trapped in the game, but instead of waiting for someone to roll a certain number, he just didn’t see his clue. Judy and Peter also appear in the show and play the game each episode going into the game and helping Alan try and remember or discover information about his clue.
Other characters carry over to the show including the hunter Van Pelt, the policeman Carl Bently and Aunt Nora. The show had a series arc that was for Alan to discover his clue and escape Jumanji, which it was able to do in its three-year run.
The artwork is something that stands out which included character designs from Everett Peck who created Duckman and Squirrel Boy.
I did watch this show, and I quite enjoyed it. It was a good follow on to a good film.
That’s all folks, for this article on Movie to TV shows. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and have gone down memory lane. Is there anything about these shows you remember? Let us know in the comment section below and remember, Subscribe, Follow and Look back at the other articles. Thanks for reading.