CGI is becoming easier to do than 2D animation, despite it still existing in anime, ads, cartoons and even some Disney movies. So we're getting many characters changed into CGI, like Mickey Mouse, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tinkerbell, Road Runner and Punchy. They've been CG'd before, mainly in video games, but sometimes it makes them too realistic. Take Jeeves, the Vlasic Stork and the Silentnight characters for example. Because CGI is becoming easier to use, ads are rushed in CGI, and often made into an Alvin and the Chipmunks style. Might be due to the Nielsen ratings on live-action ads being more effective than animation. And saying the name of Alvin and the Chipmunks brings me to this list.
Due to the popularity of CGI, and the fact that Robin Williams' Popeye was released in the early 80's, people are doing to cartoon/fantasy comic creatures what Steven Spielberg did to Dino - give them the 'CG Eyes'. Although a movie adaptation of The Smurfs had been in development when Scooby-Doo was released, Alvin boosted the craze to make it go too far. And I say it goes too far because none of these films are critical successes. Here's my comparsions between the old and the new, to see what I really think of the designs and their personalities.
VOICE ACTOR: Chip Zien POSITIVE: He's a puppet/suit. But then again, this was the 80's. NEGATIVE: Human-like eyes, pro-bestiality message is more effective, not nearly as angry, high on duck puns FAITH FACTOR: 4/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 6/10
VOICE ACTORS: Josh Pais, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman, Brian Tochi POSITIVE: Made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, same attitude, same charm NEGATIVE: Often weak facial expressions. That's all I can say. FAITH FACTOR: 9/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 4/10
VOICE ACTOR: Mel Blanc (recordings taken from original TV show) POSITIVE: Was a puppet made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in the first movie NEGATIVE: Reason for all future talking animals having bug-eyes FAITH FACTOR: 8/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 5/10
VOICE ACTORS: Malachi Pearson, Joe Nipote, Joe Alaskey, Brad Garrett POSITIVE: The first appearance of the ghosts' current, wonderful designs NEGATIVE: Do all ghosts in the movie have to look cartoony? FAITH FACTOR: 9/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 2/10
VOICE ACTORS: June Foray, Keith Scott POSITIVE: Considering that these characters had been transported outside the cartoon world, they stay completely true to their designs. Also, Rocky is still voiced by June Foray. NEGATIVE: There was a weasel in the movie who was 2D animated, so why not these guys? FAITH FACTOR: 9/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 1/10
ACTOR: Jim Carrey POSITIVE: Very neat make-up, creeped me out as a child which makes him very effective, it's Jim Carrey! NEGATIVE: Jim Carrey's absurdity might be too much for some FAITH FACTOR: 6/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: Ugly like a Grinch should be.
VOICE ACTOR: Neil Fanning POSITIVE: Most of the design is accurate, spot-on voicework NEGATIVE: Bug-eyes, fart jokes, Scrappy Doo (Scott Innes) urinates on someone FACT: In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the 2D Scooby and Shaggy complained to Matthew Lillard about his performance in the movie. FAITH FACTOR: 4/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 8/10
VOICE ACTOR: Bill Murray POSITIVE: Eyes aren’t as bug-like NEGATIVE: Other characters don’t look the same, fart jokes, unfunny FACT: Bill Murray hated his job voicing Garfield so much that he said that it was his one regret in his Zombieland cameo. Never have a name that matches a better writer, and this goes to you, Joel Cohen. FAITH FACTOR: 5/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 2/10
VOICE ACTOR: Jason Lee POSITIVE: Clips from the original cartoon appear at the beginning. NEGATIVE: Not the same character, looks ridiculous, way too realistic, can be either live-action or CGI. FAITH FACTOR: 2/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 9/10
VOICE ACTORS: Justin Long/Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Matthew Gray Gubler/Steve Vining, Jesse McCartney/Janice Karman POSITIVE: Their cuteness kind of improves in the sequel, you can actually tell that they are chipmunks this time, their songs can get pretty catchy... NEGATIVE: Hoodies, bug-eyes, fart jokes, every picture of Alvin uses the same face FACT: This movie was such a financial (if not critical) success that it was the real reason why we got the Yogi Bear movie. FAITH FACTOR: 4/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 5-7/10
VOICE ACTOR: Frank Welker POSITIVE: Less ugly than the last one, and more true to the design. Also, this didn’t stop Scooby from being 2D forever. NEGATIVE: Still involves in fart jokes. FAITH FACTOR: 6/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 2/10
VOICE ACTRESSES: Amy Poehler/Courtney Galiano, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate POSITIVE: More face poses in the marketing, sometimes kinda cute, and too girlish for fart jokes. Also, Miley Cyrus rejected her role. NEGATIVE: Still have the bug-eyes and modern culture. Also appeared in the nude, which unlike the male chipmunks could be an excuse for more porn. FACT: Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks was a live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movie that was released direct-to-video, but that one had puppets that were actually faithful. FAITH FACTOR: 5/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 5/10
VOICE ACTOR: Owen Wilson POSITIVE: Proves a better reason why it makes sense for a cartoon character to stay as one when being converted to CGI. NEGATIVE: The original Marmaduke never talked, made friends, farted, danced, surfed or even wore sunglasses! FAITH FACTOR: 0/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 10/10
VOICE ACTORS: Dan Ankroyd, Justin Timberlake POSITIVE: Mostly equal to the original designs, Justin Timberlake sounds exactly like Boo-Boo, unchanged personalities NEGATIVE: Bug-eyes, Dan Ankroyd isn’t perfect as Yogi, Yogi dances to hip-hop, Yogi makes a pee joke, most of the marketing has only one face pose for both bears FAITH FACTOR: 7/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 7/10
VOICE ACTORS: Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Anton Yelchin, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Gary Basaraba, John Oliver, Paul Reubens, Kenan Thompson, B. J. Novak, Jeff Foxworthy, Wolfgang Puck POSITIVE: Keeps the original designs, some Smurfs actually look Disney-ish and cute, casting of Jonathan Winters (originally Grandpa Smurf), two interesting new Smurfs (Panicky and Gutsy) NEGATIVE: Eyes can get too realistic, Greedy Smurf seems pretty racist due to his voice casting, George Lopez never involved in a good movie (except Rio), Katy Perry, had to end up like Giselle in New York, raunchy/crude humour including fart jokes (spoken) and a joke that's supposedly about pubic hair FAITH FACTOR: 3/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 3-7/10
VOICE ACTORS: Ty Burrell and Max Charles POSITIVE: Sherman's hair has changed before, DreamWorks purchased Classic Media, DreamWorks have toned down in pop culture references and toilet humour, test footage screenings have received positive reaction NEGATIVE: We'll see... FAITH FACTOR: N/A UGLINESS FACTOR: 2/10
VOICE ACTOR: Eddie Murphy POSITIVE: It's probably not getting made NEGATIVE: Annoying, does not sound like Scatman Crothers, typical "dog drinking out of the toilet" jokes, eats a urine-covered mint FAITH FACTOR: 1/10 UGLINESS FACTOR: 8/10
VOICE ACTOR: TBA POSITIVE: The movie will be completely animated, has a new logo on his chest NEGATIVE: Bug-eyes, lost a slightly more faithful design, CGI ‘tude, looks like The Tale of Desperaux on crack FAITH FACTOR: N/A UGLINESS FACTOR: 7/10
And the winner for Most Unfaithful Adaptation is..