Top Eight.. Saturday morning cartoons which deserve a movie more than Spider-Man

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Gets made into a film whenever he can! Seriously, the paint’s not even dry on the Tobey Maguire poster and we have to sit through another incarnation. There are so many better Saturday morning cartoons that deserve a big screen outing. Ross McD runs through them.

8. Dungeons and Dragons

Not that shite with Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch that came out in 2000, we want a film version of the cartoon – remember the one with six kids who each had a magical weapon, and the cute baby unicorn, and the baddie with one horn on the side of his head? Anyone who was an 80s childhood played this with their friends. Unfortunately, no game ever got past assigning characters stage, since everyone wanted to be the guy with the awesome stringless bow.

Casting shoo-in: Jeremy Irons actually would have made a good Venger if he hadn’t sold out to the namesake

7. Captain N: The Games Master

A superb concept for a cartoon, there is no reason The Wizard with Fred Savage should have been made over this. Protagonist Kevin is sucked into a video game world populated by all the classic Nintendo heroes and villains. Essentially half hour long advertisements for the Japanese games console, Kevin was a loveable-if-cocky kid armed with a light gun and an awesome NES controller belt buckle. Could be the first ever decent video game movie tie-in.

Casting shoo-in: Unfortunately, there is no way around Shia LaBeouf being cast in the lead.

6. Ulysses 31

An absolutely terrifying show at no matter what age you watched it, the futuristic take on the ancient Greek legend saw poor Ulysses forced to fly around the galaxy with most of his crew frozen and floating silently in a creepy room of his enormous ship (come to think of it, I’ve no idea how he piloted that thing without its hundreds-strong staff). There was a real sense of peril about this absent – understandably – from most children’s cartoons of the day, or ever.

Casting shoo-in: Christian Bale was born to play the cranky bearded Jesus look-alike.

5. Bravestarr

Ah this takes me back… school sports day, sprint race, and every kid on the starting line is whispering to himself, ‘Speed of the puma… puma… puma!’ (we enunciated our own echoes). Just like Marshall Bravestarr himself, we’d also use ‘strength of the bear’ quite frequently, but seldom had use for ‘eyes of the hawk’ or ‘ears of the wolf’. I think the main reason I never tried drugs as a kid was because of the episode where a child dies after overdosing – scarring stuff. Might be hard to make audiences take seriously a bipedal talking horse who has a borderline-inappropriate relationship with his rifle ‘Sara Jane’.

Casting shoo-in: Aw man, it’d be Taylor Lautner, wouldn’t it?

4. Dino-Riders

Surprised this didn’t arrive after Jurassic Park’s dino-mania. Unbelievably, only 14 episodes were ever made, when they’re still making shit like The Cleveland Show today. Guys riding around on armoured dinosaurs, with frickin’ laser beams attached, many of them ill-tempered. Seriously, if there’s enough source material* in the board game Battleship to make an entire film, this shouldn’t be a problem to script. Would like to see some Harryhausen stop motion dinos, though.


Casting shoo-in: The T-Rex from Jurassic Park could so play the Krulos’s T-Rex. Haven’t seen him in much lately, could probably do with the work.


Masked crusaaaaaders, working overtime, fighting crime, FIGHTING CRIME!! A film should be made about the theme tune to this 80s epic, never mind the cartoon. The show itself was pretty sweet though, about vehicles that could transform into…. OTHER VEHICLES! Alright, Transformers made arguably better toys, but what child didn’t think opening the doors to his dad’s car while in motion could make it fly? No-one? Just me then? Never understood how the makers got away with copy and pasting R2D2 (and giving him C3PO’s annoying personality) and calling it T-Bob. Also, never understood why Miles Mayhem’s helicopter transformed into a jet – what’s the point in that?!

Casting shoo-in: Ryan Gosling = Matt Tracker. Also, Brian Cox = Miles Mayhem

2. ThunderCats

Fans have been baying for this (wait… dogs bay… what do cats do?) ever since a superb fan trailer showed up online, splicing scenes from existing movies. Daub a bit of grey paint on Vin Diesel’s baldy head and some Irish-strength fake tan on Brad Pitt in Troy, and you have a Panthro and Lion-o even their moggy mothers couldn’t tell apart. Coming from a planet where everyone is named after the type of cat they resemble, one can only assume they ran out of names pretty quickly.

Casting shoo-in: As the fan trailer correctly calls, Hugh Jackman could have made the perfect Tigra, had he not already done the whole claw thing as Wolverine

1. The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Not only the greatest cartoon of all time, quite possibly the greatest TV show of all time. Three young friends go AAAHHHH!-ah-ah-ah-ah! Searching for the ciiiities of gold! with the help of the super cool Mendoza, who despite being super cool we wished he would just leave the kids alone and let them do it themselves. Flying around in a vehicle that would make Michael O’Leary splutter (a massive solid gold flying condor that could barely fit three people, although it was solar powered so the fuel bill wasn’t too bad), the children followed the path of the setting sun in the search for El Dorado, fuelled by the most epic soundtrack in an era of epic soundtracks. I pray for the film, although I know it could never be done justice.

Casting shoo-in: There isn’t a child alive cute enough to play Esteban…… yet.



7 Responses to “Top Eight.. Saturday morning cartoons which deserve a movie more than Spider-Man”

  1. Great post Ross McD. epic. really wish they would make a Ulysses and a MASK movie

  2. Really enjoyed this, never fail to make me laugh. I went to watch Spiderman yesterday, and i thought it was pretty good. I’ve only watched bits and pieces but would like to see a MASK film.

  3. mcguinnr Says:

    Great subject, McD. A Ulysses 31 flick could be something special. Imagine if James Cameron had turned his hand to that instead of all that tree huggin’ Avatar nonsense.

    Any takers for Battle Of The Planets? There was meant to be a movie based on the original Japanese version but don’t think it’s ever gone ahead.

  4. You should write a proposal for each of these and I bet we’ll see your name at the Oscars before the end of 2013 🙂

  5. errr. what about Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors????

  6. I’m a 90’s kid, so don’t kill me for saying this because I’ve only heard of a few of the movies listed, but I think Captain Planet would be an awesome movie!!

  7. […] on Earth hasn’t this been made into a movie yet? Perhaps Earth isn’t ready. Another French/Japanese concoction, the intro here is quite long, […]

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