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Author Topic:   Classic Children's Properties
cstengel
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posted June 13, 2000 01:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cstengel   Click Here to Email cstengel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any opinions on whether companies like Universal (with The Grinch), Warner Bros. (with Harry Potter), etc. will cannibalize classic children's properties (that might have otherwise enjoyed great longevity) in their attempt to go for big quick bucks?

I personally think there's a lot of truth to the idea. If it's a bad film, no one is going to want to touch the brand again in any form for a very long time. And if it's a good film, I think it experiences a popularity window (i.e. becomes a bit of a fad) that's very limiting. For ex. Babe was a great film, but it's kind of hard to get a kid real interested in it now when the next things have come along.

A character like Thomas the Tank engine, by staying sort of under the radar or out there in moderate ways in the past, can (and has) stay fairly evergreen. Don't know what kind of impact the new Thomas movie will have on the brand.

Don't know. Maybe it'll be a good thing when we've used up all the old book characters, made all the possible sequels, film versions of tv shows, etc., and writers and studios have to start making original content again.

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zipdrive
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posted June 13, 2000 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for zipdrive   Click Here to Email zipdrive     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's hard to say where Superman or Batman would have been without movies or television. In comic book form they could have been a cult hit and people would have loved it like geeks used to love the internet before WWW came along. I think Batman actually got a boost from the first film (thanks to Tim Burton). I think Superman will get a boost from its next film (presumably not a cheesy as the previous ones). Harry Potter can only get hurt with the movies. The books would be popular forever - the movie has a good chance of coming along and ruining it. Much like the Dune movie or definitely Battlefield Earth (though I'm sure the book sucked too). It's hard to say. X-Men will be a big test. X-Men the movie could kill that brand or take it to another level.

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TypewriterMonkey
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posted June 14, 2000 01:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TypewriterMonkey   Click Here to Email TypewriterMonkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's going to happen if Thomas the Tank Engine fails at the box office. Sometimes, like Super Mario brothers, the makers lose heart and become unmotivated to continue the brand. It will be interesting. Because if it doesn't make it as a movie - all have left are the toys and things and the knowledge that they never made it as a movie.

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fred
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posted June 15, 2000 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some of these children's things actually get cooler once Hollywood gets ahold of them. I mean, how stale and boring was Batman until Tim Burton made the movie.

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bigcheese
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posted June 16, 2000 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigcheese   Click Here to Email bigcheese     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Harry Potter is going to be a big disappointment. Imagination is huge factor in the novels. It'll be like Willow or Young Sherlock Holmes or something like that. Minor hit - but HP would have been better off in the long run as only a set of novels. But you have to try, I guess.

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Ramses
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posted June 22, 2000 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ramses   Click Here to Email Ramses     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It also depends on who develops these properties. If Disney finds a folktale from Croatia about a mouse named Srhdheit, they could turn it into a 100 million blockbuster animated movie. If the guy who bags my groceries tries to turn it into a hit, forget about it. It's not gonna happen.

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indiedan
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posted June 22, 2000 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Ramses. Disney can develop anything into a classic children's property just because of the machine they have in place. On the Hercules DVD the standard logo they slap on any animated film is Walt Disney's Masterpiece. You and I know that Hercules was not a masterpiece. That's the uphill fight any independent has to try and develop kid's properties.

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SuprGrrl
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posted June 23, 2000 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SuprGrrl   Click Here to Email SuprGrrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanna know what happened to the kid's movies of yesteryear. They don't make films like The Dark Crystal or Labrynth anymore. Kids movies that were dark, and even a little scary at times. I miss big anamatronic puppets, they always looked 10 times cooler than the animation stuff thats coming out now. And the stories were so...enticing. I could watch those movies over and over

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MustangJimmy
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posted June 27, 2000 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MustangJimmy   Click Here to Email MustangJimmy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Chicken Run was nice and dark. There were alot of walk outs - probably people who didn't get the British thing and maybe people who thought it was too dark for their kids. Harry Potter is supposed to be fairly dark - though I doubt Chris Columbus will keep it that way. He's a little too cheery for my tastes.

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screenplaymaster
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posted June 28, 2000 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for screenplaymaster   Click Here to Email screenplaymaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Harry Potter is a disaster waiting to happen. I've never seen a studio so reliant on one property. If Harry Potter fails, the entire executive corp at Warner Bros. is on thin ice. It's a popular book - it's not the Bible (to cross-reference the God discussion on the other board). Just be faithful to the book, make a nice movie without any radical changes and you're done.

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indiedan
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posted June 28, 2000 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Harry Potter will be fine. Nothing can match the success of the books. But that built in audience is guaranteed to make it a hit. Whether it's a big enough hit to do movies out of ALL the books is a different matter.

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lousydrunk
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posted July 08, 2000 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lousydrunk   Click Here to Email lousydrunk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You can very easily screw up the Harry Potter movie. You cast Gary Coleman as Harry Potter and have him say stuff like 'Whut yu talkin' Hogwarth?' - or whatever the fuck their names are. Play a bunch of polka or Grateful Dead songs throughout. Have the teacher played by, you know, Patsy Ramsey (Jean Benet's mom) - There are ways to screw up this movie.

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BunnyCup
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posted July 11, 2000 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BunnyCup   Click Here to Email BunnyCup     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Despite rumours to the contrary, Harry Potter will be English and not American. There was a rumour going around that Warner Bros. was going to set the movie in America - not true, not true...

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cstengel
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posted July 20, 2000 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cstengel   Click Here to Email cstengel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw a commercial for the new Thomas the Tank Engine movie. While the movie may turn out to be great, it looks like the production values are VERY low. Really feel that this is something that could destroy a good brand. Seems to be living up to my fears. We'll see.

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TypewriterMonkey
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posted July 20, 2000 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TypewriterMonkey   Click Here to Email TypewriterMonkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That one looked doomed from the start. I saw a preview before Chicken Run. Now I don't know much about Thomas - but it looks really creepy. Does the train's mouth move? Or does it just sit there and move his eyes from side to side? It's like a scary clown face.

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