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2018 Sundance Film Festival

5 (other) Sundance films that would make awesome cartoons

When I heard that Sundance Film Festival alum and total cult classic NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE was going to be made into a Fox cartoon, the first thing that came to mind was ‘Holy 2004, did I time travel back to high school?!’ However, when I found out that the show was going to feature the exact same cast as the movie, I thought: hey, this might be pretty funny, I’m glad Jon Heder has nothing else to do but voice a character he played eight years ago. I like Jon Heder, especially when he played that psychic in that Mark Ruffalo flop “Here On Earth.” He deserves to have some more fame and fortune (and hopefully he will with his return trip to Sundance in FOR ELLEN)! So does that guy Pedro. Sure, the movie might be a bit aged, but it still has enough one-liners and catch phrases to be quoted on Facebook profiles, and I still laugh sadly every time I think about a liger, so hey, why not? And why stop there? Here are some other cartoon ideas for past Sundance Film Festival hits, because you never know what might be adapted next:


Nothing says cult classic more than this film–set in the last day of a Jewish summer camp, it’s chock full of some of the wackiest performances by some of our favorite actors of today. Who didn’t love watching Detective Stabler (Christopher Meloni) play a raged-up Vietnam vet? Or watch Bradley Cooper go gay? Or just watch Paul Rudd in general? It’s a weird, wacky film that’s also hilarious. The new show, which I’ve dubbed Next Wet Hot American Summer, would simply start the following summer. Amy Poehler would have to guest star, because now that she’s super famous on NBC, it would be nice for her to go back to her wacky roots. And since David Wain and Ken Marino already work together on Children’s Hospital, and Showalter, Black, and Lo Truglio have worked together consistently since MTV’s The State, it’d be easy to get the cast together. Believe me, there’s not one nerd, comedian, or film buff that wouldn’t tune into this show.


After Kevin Smith sort of blew it at the festival last year with Red State, it’s time for him to do a career revamp. What better way is there to reintroduce his beloved franchise back into the mainstream than a black and white cartoon? It’d be a fresh concept and an old classic, which is the perfect combination of quirky that spells ‘big ratings.’ Like Napoleon Dynamite, not many of the cast members of this show are actually doing anything, so it would probably be easy to secure the original cast. Plus, with the terrible economy and the lack of jobs, a show about minimum wage workers with little to no motivation has actually become pretty topical again. Couldn’t you just see this on Comedy Central already?


This could be a look at Donnie Darko’s life before he started seeing rabbits and predicting the end of the world. In this, he’s just another high school emo kid, dyeing his hair black and listening to all sorts of ’80s new wave music. People love flashbacks, and this would be an oddly unsettling yet honest look into the lives of high school outcasts. You know, one’s that predict the end of the world. Okay, so maybe this one wouldn’t do very well, or perhaps would only last a season. But that’s the thing–with a good enough pitch, this cartoon could get on MTV 2 no problem. Kids love angst, and MTV loves kids…you get the deal. We’d have to get someone besides Jake Gyllenhaal, of course, as he is too famous now. However, I’m sure there are lots of wacky in the MTV rolodex that will gladly fill the role of the crazy kid. Oh yeah, the entire thing would be claymation.


First things first–get RuPaul! GET RUPAUL to GUEST STAR. This would make a really awesome cartoon, because it’s got lots of color and camp and great songs. It’d be like a completely less irritating and less preachy Glee. We’d learn lessons. We’d dance and sing. We’d have to excuse the fact that Michael Pitt probably wouldn’t be in it because his dreamy eyes are contractually obligated to gaze in Boardwalk Empire. The movie was about a gorgeous transgender singer who talks about her life pre- and post-op. It’s inspiring and sweet, but the reason why this cartoon would work is because of all the fabulous guest stars (Neil Patrick Harris). This show screams camp, and I love camp, and so does America.


I’m kidding. The blogosphere would totally explode if this were ever made into a cartoon. They’d bomb every vintage dress shop in NYC. They’d burn every hair ribbon into a pile of ash. Unless. of course, it’s a show where it is revealed that Summer is actually a serpent or The Devil, destined to a life of eating the soul’s of our absolute favorite indie stars. In episode one, she would stare deep into the eyes of Ryan Gosling until she makes him carve out his own heart. In episode two, she bites off Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s acting chops, then delays the opening of the final Batman. Boys love cartoons. And they hate girls who don’t love them back. This is a win-win.