Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Berentein Bears... really?

So say The USA Today, Shawn Levy - the Michael Bay of safe, empty family-comedy - will direct a live-action (huh?) adaptation of "The Berenstein Bears" for Walden Media:

A series of children's books spanning a few decades or so by now, the main setup is basically your average nuclear-family sitcom cast with talking bears: Doltish but well-meaning father, emminently wise mother, troublemaking son, bratty daughter. I always thought Mama Bear came off as kind of a bitch, honestly...

This, I guess, is the price we'll have to pay for "Where the Wild Things Are."

The books are basically self-contained life-lessons without much in the way of antagonists or continuity, so apparently Levy's film will make use of "kiddie franchise adaptation plot #6:" Transporting the characters to "the real world" to interact with incredulous humans. Because that was such a good idea in "Fat Albert." I eagerly await seeing which popular youth sport Brother Bear will show hitherto unheard of proficiency at, what sort of "wacky" modern clothes Sister Bear will wind up in during the innevitable makeover-with-new-friends scene, and finding out which big chain store will plunk down the product-placement dollars for the honor of having Mama and Papa get lost in - amazed at all the crazy technology and gadgets. I think I remember that Papa was supposed to be a lumberjack, so hopefull there's a scene where he gets his hand on a chainsaw. (You can have that one for free, Shawn.)


Anonymous said...

Which of the books have you been reading? I don't remember Brother being troublemaker or Sister as a brat. They were pretty much just well-meaning, average kids.

Mykal said...

Well because they are when it is focus on them not doing what they are suppose to. Brother Bear in the eating right one, and Sister in the Green Eyed Monster for some examples. They act up, then in the end learn an important lesson is the format of them.

Though I got some money betting that saying it is a comedy is a lie at this point. Bay will have the family wanting the blood of people acting up(not at first be a comedy till they can'ts stans nos mores) leading to explosion and no apparent story other then kill something because it is different.

Anonymous said...

OK its official Hollywood will make a movie about any thing. I'm looking forward to the inevitable future films about knot tying and cloud watching.

Bob said...

"Which of the books have you been reading? I don't remember Brother being troublemaker or Sister as a brat. They were pretty much just well-meaning, average kids."

It's been a few years, granted, but the kids were ALWAYS in some kind of trouble - otherwise, how would they learn their lessons - save for the stories that didn't involve the parents much. And usually the variety of trouble confirmed to the typical sitcom gender-archetypes, i.e. Brother was typically in roughousing, prank-pulling "boy" trouble while Sister's issues were typically emotional or material "girl" problems. Pretty much any scenario with the one male kid, one female kid setup breaks the same way.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Brother was never the type to pull pranks in the vein of, say, Bart Simpson, and Sister wasn't really any more material than a typical child. I read the books repeatedly as a kid, and for all intents and purposes, they were pretty well-behaved kids.

Sorry, I'm kinda anal about this sorta stuff. I'll drop it now.

DHos said...

Really? Really?
I remember reading these way back when and liking them mostly because they were a nice little series sitting on the bookshelf in an orderly row, but a movie? Oh no. Well, at least I know I won't watch it. I wouldn't stop the little kids from watching it, but I sure won't.

RocMegamanX said...


Live action "Berenstein Bears"?

And I pretty much though that the fact that Barbie is having a movie in theaters is weird enough.

I'd rather watch the Live-Action Grinch again for sixteen hours straight than watch this. At least Jim Carrey was quirky in that movie.

sniffits said...

Every time I hear the phrase 'wacky hijinks' my blood boils and somewhere a child cries. I can just hear the narrator in the stupid clown voice as he does the trailer (god damn).

How would you stretch this into a movie any other way, though? There's a long running cartoon that basically animates the lessons from the book. How would you introduce a 2 hour long conflict involving character change that can keep an audience engaged? Seriously, why this franchise?

Then again, without crap, we wouldn't appreciate the occasional golden egg, huh?

tyra menendez said...

personally, i'd like to see a new take on the "toons-in-real-life" concept. not the fat albert thing, where he "crosses over" and becomes live action, but humans interacting with cartoon characters. with computerization, you wouldn't need the insane amount of budget and time that who framed roger rabbit needed. but, you'ld still need a clever idea and a smart director.